A lethal explosion of still undetermined origin rocked the Glorietta Mall at the Makati central business district, killing at least eight, by last count, and wounding scores of others. The blast, which appeared to have originated from the ground floor of the Glorietta 2 wing of the mall complex, was strong enough to blow a hole through the third-floor roof. Authorities have been guarded about the actual source and nature of the explosion, but has has admitted that the most likely cause was a bomb of high explosives. The damage was too extensive to have been made by a leaking liquid petroleum gas line, the initial theory.
One angle is that it was a terrorist attack, although no group has owned up to it. The Palace was quick to issue blanket warnings against those who would seek to undermine the government. Metro Manila has been placed on red alert.
A more sinister explanation has quickly gained currency among those following the latest series of scandals hounding the Arroyo administration. This may be a case of the tail wagging the dog, as Malacanang operatives are supposedly looking for ways to redirect public attention away from the latest shenanigans involving President Arroyo and her immediate circle. The Makati Business Club has labeled the incident a possible “diversionary tactic”. Sen. Trillanes warns against Arroyo’s setting the stage for a declaration of emergency rule. These reactions were prompted by the obvious question: Who has most to gain in the immediate term by fomenting an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty ?