MANILA–After two blasts rocked Quiapo over the weekend, Senate Pres. Aquilino Pimentel III has called on the Philippine intelligence agencies to prevent similar incidents from happening and penalize those responsible.
“I sympathize with the victims and commend policemen for their quick response. But I am wondering where the intelligence agencies are. Preventing these explosions is their job,” Pimentel said in a statement.
“We set aside a lot of money for intelligence agencies. If they can’t prevent these explosions, I expect that at the very least, they [the intelligence agencies] can catch the culprits and prevent things like these from happening again,” he added.
Pimentel pointed out that the government has multiple intelligence agencies, such as the intelligence units of the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, among others.
He asked intelligence agencies to stop making excuses and instead explain why these bomb blasts are getting more frequent.
“I want them to account for every peso that was allocated to them, and give me a very good reason for this failure of intelligence on their part.”
Pimentel, who as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights in the 16th Congress pushed for the NBI Modernization Law, said that he is willing to call on the heads of these agencies to help them with additional funding for training, equipment, and operations if that is what is needed for preventing tragedies like Quiapo from happening again. He, however, said that they must first produce good results.
“If they say that they do need additional funds, they must produce results from the billions already given them and not ask for more money only to have no improvement still,” he added.
The twin Quiapo bomb blasts took place Saturday afternoon. The first one occurred at around 5:50 p.m. on Gunao Street and was followed by another explosion on Norzagaray Street around 8:30 p.m. the same day.
Two people were killed and another four were injured in the incident. This comes a little over a week after an explosion also in Quiapo injured 14 people.