At least six people were killed while 28 others were injured in an explosion at Kyla’s Bistro and Candy’s Cafe, Rosario Arcade, Limketkai Center, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines at around 2330H, Friday, 26 July 2013.
Three of the fatalities were killed on the spot while three were declared dead on arrival at Northern Mindanao Medical Center.
Killed on the spot were Anthony Canete, Ryan Estose, and Emmanuel Palafox, reportedly employees of Sandoz Philippines Corporation. Misamis Oriental Provincial Board Member Roldan Lagbas, Dr. Erwin Malanay, and Antonio C. Paredes, died at city hospitals.
Officers from the National Bureau of Investigation and PNP- Scene of the Crime Operations are still scouring the area and determining the motive behind the explosion and the components of the improvised explosive device. They provide support to the city police force under city police chief Graciano Mijares.
Political angle is the primary suspected motive because the 44-year-old Lagbas came from a family of politicians. He is serving his first term as a member of the Provincial Board while his brother, Benedict, serves also as board member. Another brother Junjun, is the mayor of Kinoguitan town, Misamis Oriental. Their late father, Danilo Lagbas, was vice governor of the province.
City Vice Mayor Ian Acenas described the explosion as the worst he ever saw. He said some of the casualties are doctors and medical professionals who are attending National Dentamania 2013 Scientific Symposium at Pearlmont Inn, the Lung Specialists (Pulmunologists), and the Philippine College of Chest Physicians (PCCP) 16th Midyear National Convention at the Grand Caprice, all at Limketkai Center.
“I condole with the families of the victims who died. There is an ongoing probe and all angles are looked into,” Mijares said, echoing the sentiments of city political leaders.
Mijares raised the security alert of the city this week due to the bomb threats at the city hall and against City Mayor Oscar Moreno.