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First Quarter 2000

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Bombed Ferry (from a PDI photo)
The Choice Is Ours

The Choice Is Ours
by Prof. Rudy B. Rodil

Gone To The Movies
(Mindanao Series III) by Said Sadain, Jr.

Evelio Javier, EDSA's Sacrificial Lamb
by Freda Contreras

Headscarf
by Alia Zaldarriaga

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I said earlier that I did not know anybody in the Ozamiz bombing. My mistake. One of my students last year, Lorelei Caylan, died there along with her brother Dexter. The mother of Lorelei, Lolita, who received third degree burns, died later too.

Lorelei was a graduating student. She had to go home that day because her thesis adviser said she needed some more data on the Subanen (the subject of the thesis) in her place. Balita ko, napa-iyak din ang adviser niya (I heard that the adviser also cried), feeling guilty about it.

Anyway, the decision of our dean is to let her thesis partner defend the thesis; Lorelei will graduate posthumously. Thesis defense was all that she needed to fulfill for her academic requirements. The school will communicate officially to the father. They hope that he would come to receive the diploma. Expect the crowd in the gym to cry when this happens.

The Bare Facts

Honestly, I had problems reacting to the event. The first impact was, of course, fear and a weakening in the knees. I have learned from psychology that our natural or instinctive reaction to danger is either flight or fight.

After some time, I cannot tell how long because I never took notice of the time, the historian in me took control. What I did was to piece together the news from an Ozamiz-based radio station and from bits and pieces from knowledgeable friends in Iligan, the first one being someone who really saw the event and watched helplessly and trembling from where she stood at the pier with her child. Then I sent my straight news version, without judgmental remarks, of the incident to friends.

The bare facts: There have been at least five bombs from February 25 to Feb 27: 2 in the ferry, one in Rizal, another in Cagayan which failed to explode, all loaded in Super 5 buses. The fifth was exploded at the gate of DXMS in Cotabato City.

We have no direct evidence on who or which group did it. Nor have we any concrete proof of the motive. What we can only guess, based purely on circumstantial evidence is that the first four bombs, because they had the same targets (Super 5) and apparently synchronized, seem to have been organized by the same group.

The only reason we can use to include the DXMS bombing in the same scenario is its nearness to the Super 5 bombing. Otherwise there is no basis for connecting the two events.

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