Press Release
May 16, 2017

De Lima pushes for regulation of private couriers after Quiapo bombings

Senator Leila M. de Lima has called for an immediate Senate investigation into the recent spate of bombings in Quiapo, Manila to ensure that law enforcement agencies are ready to prevent a repeat of a similar situation from happening in the future.

In filing Proposed Senate Resolution (PSR) 370, De Lima said she would like to see the capabilities of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in terms of "the efficiency and effectiveness of intelligence gathering, crime detection and incident response."

"Recent bombings in Metro Manila, being the National Capital Region of the Philippines where most businesses and educational institutions are located, have caused alarm to the nation," she said.

Citing Article II, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution, De Lima said the State is responsible for "the maintenance of peace and order, the protection of life, liberty and property and the promotion of general welfare" of its citizens.

Quiapo, a busy district in Manila, was recently hit by two separate bombing incidents: the first one was last April 28 where 14 people were injured; and the most recent one was last May 6 which claimed two lives and injured six others.

International terror group ISIS has claimed responsibility for both bombings, although local police authorities immediately debunked the group's claim as they maintained that the motive behind the bombings was a feud among gang members.

"At present, the motive and the perpetrators behind these bombings have not been fully determined, and mere speculations are given by investigating officers as to the reason of these bombings," De Lima said.

"There is continuous fear among the residents that another attack may again occur at any time," she added. The former justice secretary said that "precautionary measures [must] be proposed to ensure that similar incidents will not happen again," including a possible need to regulate private couriers" to ensure that they are not being used by sinister groups.

"There may be a need to regulate the security and screening measures being employed by private and common couriers in rendering services similar to that of 'GrabExpress', i.e., measures relating to the acceptance and delivery of packages, as a means to commit, not only bombing schemes and other crimes that compromise public order, safety and security, but possibly other acts that endanger public health," she said.

Police Chief Oscar Albayde earlier claimed that an eyewitness identified "a man riding a motorcycle bearing the logo of Grab" as the person who delivered the explosives. Grab later acknowledged that the delivery person was one of their "partners".

It may be recalled that last July, De Lima filed Senate Bill No. 369, also known as the Criminal Investigation Act of 2016, in a bid to enhance the cooperation and coordination of law enforcement and prosecution agencies.

SB 369, if enacted into law, will streamline the process of determining which criminal complaints should proceed to trial while eliminating bureaucratic layers that causes delays in the criminal justice process.

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