(Image from ABS-CBN Davao’s Maayong Buntag Mindanao FB Page)
Last night, rumor spread around social media. People said there was a bomb that went off at one of the cinemas in SM CITY Davao (Ecoland) and that there was also one in Gaisano Mall of Davao.
This morning, facts surfaced. Here they are:
1. An explosive/ bomb went off in one of SM City Davao’s cinemas and on one of Gaisano Mall’s. They were placed in chairs. Both destroyed a couple of chairs and around 5 people were sent off to the hospital because the loudness of the explosion affected their hearing. Both explosions happened between 9:00 – 9:30 PM yesterday, September 16, 2013.
2. No one was dead or injured from the explosion.
3. Investigation is still ongoing.
4. MNLF leader rushes to the crime scene to say that they weren’t responsible for the blasts.
5. This morning Mayor Rodrigo Duterte called for a command conference and said that security should be mall’s main responsibility. HD CCTV cameras should be installed and that he admits there are several lapses in mall safety. He also says that the government is willing to provide training for the mall personnel.
Here are other testimonies:
1. Some people, those who were inside the cinema, were supposed to sit on the chairs with the explosives. Men stood by and told them to sit somewhere else.
2. The cinemagoers also said that the blast was so loud that they could feel sharp winds hit their face. They smelled (what seemed like) gunpowder afterwards.
(Sources for facts and testimonies: ABS CBN News, PIA and Newsdesk.asia)
With all of my friends’ posts on Facebook and several news agencies trying to be the first to be right, here are my humble thoughts, as a frequent mallgoer and an informed citizen:
1. Security still needs to level up big time. When guards check my bag, it’s like they’re just touching it like a fairy would with a magic wand. Most guards don’t search thoroughly and they don’t question that much.
2. I hate the fact that they had to check our bags over and over again while already inside the mall. Please, just install HD CCTVs please. And hire people to monitor them religiously.
3. Most guards seem to be more programmed to be cautious of people shoplifting rather than general security. That is why you get a lot of guard attention if you bring new stuff to the mall. Then set you aside and give you a gate pass. that is also why they prioritize those sensors that tell if you’re bringing an item outside an area rather than actual CCTVs inside the mall. At National Book Store, they’re so wary of school supplies inside your bag. One time I brought a heavy duty gun tacker and they didn’t say a word. But they did when I had this super new-looking notebook. I used to think that was funny. But now it doesn’t sound so.
4. I still think there has to be more K9 presence inside the mall. They could also check for drugs and other harmful chemicals. I used to see them around Abreeza but today, I don’t see them as often.
5. I get that these guards get tired too. BUT THAT’S YOUR JOB, DUDE. Everybody gets tired from work. We churn, they earn, we get paid. I make it to a point to open my bag early on so the guards can take a good look at what’s inside. But sometimes they’re just chatting or they feel tired (featuring a face that’s bored to hell) that I get insulted and say “Unsa man, i-check pa ni ninyo?!” (What now? Are you still gonna look at my bag?) Sometimes they check it for the sake of looking at it or worse, they shoo me away. WTF, right?
6. It’s *somehow* a good thing, thinking that people just wanted to make a statement, not to hurt other people. It makes me think that these people know that they can’t put themselves in a position that makes them the criminals of Davao city because…uh, you know what happens to criminals of/in Davao city.
7. I think the perpetrators of this crime just wanted to scare people because it was a post-payday Monday and it was expected to have a lot of people inside a mall. But they chose expensive cinema houses at the latest time possible. Hmm.
8. There should be more open, and widely announced hotlines for suspicious activities. A lot of people are willing to be vigilant; sometimes they just don’t know where to go or who to talk to. I appreciate how Victoria Plaza (one of Davao’s “outdated” malls) posts several tarps of police hotlines in most of their entrances. Can the other malls follow suit, please?
I think that’s enough opinion for now. I go to the malls almost everyday. And this, just wraps me in fear. Praying for a swifter investigation, more responsible media (yes, including social media), a safer Davao city, and lastly, the TRUTH PLEASE.
How about you? Any thoughts? Feel free to hit the comment button.