Saturday, September 03, 2016

247: Escalation

My wife and I were already asleep when my cellphone rang. It was 11:30PM. The caller ID said it was my mother. Groggily I answered the phone, half-hoping it wasn't anything serious. "Have you heard the news?" she asked, and then: "I just wanted to know that you were safe." I was utterly confused. So she explained to me what had happened: the Roxas night market had been bombed.

I'm writing this now in the morning, some several hours after the incident. At this point, the news is still sketchy, little changed from what we already knew from the radio immediately after. Some twelve people dead, though some accounts now say twenty, with perhaps sixty injured. The bomb was planted in the massage section of the night market, so highly unlikely it was an exploding LPG tank. Pictures taken at the scene, the most poignant a top view shot taken from nearby Ateneo, show the extent of the horror -- plastic chairs strewn about, people running, a dead body clearly sprawled on the ground. But as to who did the deed we still don't know.

There wasn't much zest to do anything throughout the day. We stayed home to do some chores, tried to catch up on what news we could get, but there wasn't much to go on. I drove out to deliver some food and the traffic seemed pretty normal, none of the checkpoints that were supposed to be set up. In the evening, though, we went to SM Lanang and the mall was practically dead for a Saturday night. Instead of the usual weekend closing at ten, they decided to close at their usual nine.

I wrote something else for the second half of this blog post, but I decided to withdraw it. It seemed insensitive to write out my speculations at this time. But I still have strong opinions that run contrary to the general pulse in Davao, I'll keep them to myself for now. Discretion and all that. But I do wonder, at some point, when can we start demanding real accountability?