Rizal Day bombings
Overview
 
The Rizal Day bombings, also referred to as the December 30 bombings, were a series of bombings that occurred around Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

 in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 on December 30, 2000. The explosions occurred in close succession within a span of a few hours. Twenty-two (22) fatalities were reported and around a hundred more suffered non-fatal injuries.

The blasts occurred during a national holiday in the Philippines, where December 30 is known as Rizal Day
Rizal Day
Rizal Day is a Philippine national holiday commemorating the life and works of José Rizal, one of the Philippines' national heroes. It is celebrated every December 30, the day of Rizal's execution at Bagumbayan, now known as Rizal Park, in 1896.-History:...

, commemorating the martyrdom of the country's national hero, José Rizal
José Rizal
José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda , was a Filipino polymath, patriot and the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot and is listed as one of the national heroes of the Philippines by...

.
Five locations were bombed almost simultaneously within the span of an hour.
Encyclopedia
The Rizal Day bombings, also referred to as the December 30 bombings, were a series of bombings that occurred around Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

 in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 on December 30, 2000. The explosions occurred in close succession within a span of a few hours. Twenty-two (22) fatalities were reported and around a hundred more suffered non-fatal injuries.

The blasts occurred during a national holiday in the Philippines, where December 30 is known as Rizal Day
Rizal Day
Rizal Day is a Philippine national holiday commemorating the life and works of José Rizal, one of the Philippines' national heroes. It is celebrated every December 30, the day of Rizal's execution at Bagumbayan, now known as Rizal Park, in 1896.-History:...

, commemorating the martyrdom of the country's national hero, José Rizal
José Rizal
José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda , was a Filipino polymath, patriot and the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot and is listed as one of the national heroes of the Philippines by...

.

Blast locations

Five locations were bombed almost simultaneously within the span of an hour. All of the locations were situated within the Metro Manila
Metro Manila
Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

 area on the Philippine island of Luzon
Luzon
Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines. It is located in the northernmost region of the archipelago, and is also the name for one of the three primary island groups in the country centered on the Island of Luzon...

.
  • A bomb exploded at Plaza Ferguson in Malate, Manila
    Malate, Manila
    Malate is an old district of the city of Manila in Metro Manila, the Philippines. The district is located at the southern end of the city of Manila, bordered by Pasay City to the south, by Manila Bay to the west, by the district of Ermita to the north and by the districts of Paco and San Andres to...

    . This particular blast site is located less than a hundred meters from the United States Embassy.

  • Another bomb detonated at a gasoline station in the Makati central business district. The target was a gasoline station along EDSA, across the street from the Dusit Hotel
    Dusit Thani Group
    The Dusit Thani Group of companies, also known as Dusit International is a Bangkok-based hotel and resort company. The company was founded in 1948 by Honorary Chairperson Thanpuying Chanut Piyaoui...

     in Makati. Two policemen, members of the local bomb squad, died as a result of this explosion.

  • The cargo handling area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport
    Ninoy Aquino International Airport
    The Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA , also known as Manila International Airport , is the airport serving the general area of Manila and its surrounding metropolitan area...

     (NAIA
    Ninoy Aquino International Airport
    The Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA , also known as Manila International Airport , is the airport serving the general area of Manila and its surrounding metropolitan area...

    ) was also targeted with at least one explosive device.

  • Another explosive device was detonated inside a bus traveling along the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue
    Epifanio de los Santos Avenue
    Epifanio de los Santos Avenue , formerly known as Highway 54, is the main circumferential road and highway of Metro Manila in the Philippines. It is an important commuting artery between the northern and southern parts of the metropolitan area...

     (EDSA). The bomb exploded while the bus was en-route in the Cubao area of Quezon City
    Quezon City
    Quezon City is the former capital and the most populous city in the Philippines. Located on the island of Luzon, Quezon City is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila, the National Capital Region. The city was named after Manuel L...

    . One passenger was killed while several others were injured.

  • The explosion that claimed the most casualties occurred in a train cab at the Blumentritt station
    Blumentritt LRT Station
    Blumentritt LRT Station is a station on the Manila LRT Yellow Line . Like all other LRT-1 stations, Blumentritt station is above-ground. The station serves Sampaloc in Manila. The station itself is located near Blumentritt Street, which the station was named after...

     of the Metro Manila
    Metro Manila
    Metropolitan Manila , the National Capital Region , or simply Metro Manila, is the metropolitan region encompassing the City of Manila and its surrounding areas in the Philippines...

     Light Rail Transit
    Manila Light Rail Transit System
    The Manila Light Rail Transit System, popularly known as the LRT, is a metropolitan rail system serving the Metro Manila area in the Philippines. Although referred to as a light rail system because it originally used light rail vehicles, it has many characteristics of a rapid transit system, such...

    .

Type of explosive employed

The Philippine National Police
Philippine National Police
The Philippine National Police is the national police force of the Republic of the Philippines. It is both a national and a local police force in that it does provides all law enforcement services throughout the Philippines...

 identified the bombs as one-kilogram blackpowder bombs, set to detonate using timing devices.

In addition, confessions by the convicted perpetrators describe the bombs as ammonium nitrate-based explosives. Most of the components of the bombs such as blasting caps and detonating cords were discovered to have come from the city of Talisay
Talisay City, Cebu
Talisay City is a 3rd class city in the province of Cebu, Philippines. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 179,359 people....

 in the southern province of Cebu
Cebu
Cebu is a province in the Philippines, consisting of Cebu Island and 167 surrounding islands. It is located to the east of Negros, to the west of Leyte and Bohol islands...

. The town itself is known for the production of blasting caps used in illegal fishing.

Perpetrators

Initially, various Islamic groups were implicated in the bombings, including the Jemaah Islamiyah
Jemaah Islamiyah
Jemaah Islamiah , is a Southeast Asian militant Islamic organization dedicated to the establishment of a Daulah Islamiyah in Southeast Asia incorporating Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Philippines, Singapore and Brunei...

, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
Moro Islamic Liberation Front
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is an Islamist group located in the southern Philippines. It is one of two Islamic militant groups, the other being the Abu Sayyaf, that are fighting against Government of the Philippines...

, and the Moro National Liberation Front
Moro National Liberation Front
The Moro National Liberation Front is a political organization that was founded by Nur Misuari in 1969. The MNLF struggles against the Philippine Government to achieve independence of the Bangsamoro Land...

.

In September 2003, almost three years after the incident, the case remained unsolved as the authorities responsible were berated by then-senate president Franklin Drilon
Franklin Drilon
Franklin Magtunao Drilon is a Filipino politician who served as President of the Senate of the Philippines in 2000 and from 2001 to 2006. Drilon currently serves his third term in the Senate...

.

In May 2003, Saifullah Yunos (aka Mukhlis Yunos), a suspect in the bombings, was arrested in the southern city of Cagayan de Oro as he was about to board a plane to Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

. Police were alerted to the suspect when he failed to explain numerous bandages on his face and arms. A month later, he confessed to a level of involvement in the bombings. A member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
Moro Islamic Liberation Front
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is an Islamist group located in the southern Philippines. It is one of two Islamic militant groups, the other being the Abu Sayyaf, that are fighting against Government of the Philippines...

's special operations group, he was charged with multiple murder
Murder
Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide...

 and multiple frustrated murder for his role in the bombings.

In the following years, several members of the Jemaah Islamiyah
Jemaah Islamiyah
Jemaah Islamiah , is a Southeast Asian militant Islamic organization dedicated to the establishment of a Daulah Islamiyah in Southeast Asia incorporating Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Philippines, Singapore and Brunei...

 were arrested for their suspected involvement in the bombings. In 2004, two Muslim men, Mamasao Naga (aka Zainal Paks) and Abdul Pata (aka Mohamad Amir) were arrested by Philippine armed forces in Marawi City. They were supposedly identified by Fathur Rahman Al-Ghozi
Fathur Rahman al-Ghozi
Fathur Rahman al-Ghozi was a key operative and bomb-maker of the Islamic militant Jemaah Islamiya group...

, a known member of the Jemaah Islamiyah
Jemaah Islamiyah
Jemaah Islamiah , is a Southeast Asian militant Islamic organization dedicated to the establishment of a Daulah Islamiyah in Southeast Asia incorporating Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Philippines, Singapore and Brunei...

, as the ones responsible for the LRT train cab bombing.

The MILF and the MNLF were later cleared by the Philippine National Police of any involvement in the attacks.

Fathur Rahman Al-Ghozi
Fathur Rahman al-Ghozi
Fathur Rahman al-Ghozi was a key operative and bomb-maker of the Islamic militant Jemaah Islamiya group...

, an Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

n national and member of the known terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah
Jemaah Islamiyah
Jemaah Islamiah , is a Southeast Asian militant Islamic organization dedicated to the establishment of a Daulah Islamiyah in Southeast Asia incorporating Indonesia, Malaysia, the southern Philippines, Singapore and Brunei...

, was convicted and sentenced to 17 years in prison for illegal possession of explosives in relation to the Rizal Day bombing incidents. In July 2003, Al-Ghozi, along with several other accomplices, escaped from their holding cell at Camp Crame
Camp Crame
Camp Crame is the national headquarters of the Philippine National Police and is located in along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Quezon City...

. Al-Ghozi was later killed in a firefight with Philippine authorities on October 13, 2003.

On January 23, 2009, the three Rizal Day bombers, Mukhlis Hadji Yunos, Abdul Fatak Paute, and Mamasao Naga were sentenced by the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 29, under Judge Cielito Mendaro-Grulla, of up to twenty years in imprisonment for multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder.

Aftermath

In December 2006, almost six years after the bombings, Metro Manila police went on heightened alert from bomb scares and the prospect of follow-up attacks on the anniversary of the bombings. The AFP
Armed Forces of the Philippines
The Armed Forces of the Philippines is composed of the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force...

 followed suit days after, deploying numerous bomb squads and medical teams to both Fort Bonifacio
Fort Bonifacio
Fort Bonifacio is a highly urbanized district in Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The district is named after the main Philippine Army camp in Metro Manila, Fort Andres Bonifacio, which in turn was named after the famous Philippine revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio...

 and Luneta. In addition, the PNP's Explosives and Ordinance Division and SWAT
SWAT
A SWAT team is an elite tactical unit in various national law enforcement departments. They are trained to perform high-risk operations that fall outside of the abilities of regular officers...

 deployed teams to LRT
Manila Light Rail Transit System
The Manila Light Rail Transit System, popularly known as the LRT, is a metropolitan rail system serving the Metro Manila area in the Philippines. Although referred to as a light rail system because it originally used light rail vehicles, it has many characteristics of a rapid transit system, such...

 stations along Taft Avenue, near one of the original bombing sites.

See also

  • 2004 SuperFerry 14 bombing
  • 2007 Glorietta explosion
    2007 Glorietta explosion
    The 2007 Glorietta explosion occurred in the Glorietta 2 section of the Glorietta shopping complex at Ayala Center in Makati, Metropolitan Manila, in the Philippines on October 19, 2007 at around 1:25 PM PST. Initial reports indicated that the explosion originated from an LPG tank explosion in an...

  • Christmas Eve 2000 Indonesia bombings
  • Strasbourg cathedral bombing plot (Christmas 2000)
    Strasbourg cathedral bombing plot
    The Strasbourg Cathedral bombing plot was an al-Qaeda plan to bomb the Strasbourg Christmas market at the feet of Strasbourg Cathedral during the Christmas celebrations of 2000...

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