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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

World: Philippine House Of Representatives

An explosion inside the Philippine House of Representatives has killed two and injured nine, reports the International Herald Tribune. The dead included Congressman Wahab Akbar and Marcial Talbo, the driver for Representative Luz Ilagan. Representative Ilagan suffered injuries to her right leg and back.

Congressman, Henry Teves, is in critical condition at the hospital, officials said. A total of nine people, some of them congressional staff members, were also hurt.
House Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., who confirmed Akbar's death, called the explosion "an act of terrorism."

"I don't want to be frightened by these terrorists and destabilizers so I have ordered the sessions to resume tomorrow," de Venecia said by telephone.

He said the police were going to sweep the premises overnight for other possible explosives.


Cris Puno, a spokesman for Akbar, suggested that the attack was directed at the congressman. Akbar and his family have ruled Basilan, an island in the south notorious as a sanctuary for the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, for decades.


The country's legislators are currently deliberating whether to impeach Arroyo, who is accused of corruption and human rights violations.
Given the endemic corruption in the Philippines, this could well be an attack by Arroyo, or an attack by Abu Sayyaf against Akbar, or an attack by Basilan inhabitants who are tired of the fact that Akbar's family pretty much rules Basilan. Details will, I am sure, follow.

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