Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Batasan Bombing: Security Lapses

Last night, flash report on TV broke the news about a bomb explosion at the south wing of House of Representatives, barely a month after the Glorietta 2 blast occurred. Three people were killed including Basilan representative Wahab Akbar.

Speaker Jose de Venecia appeared on TV condemning the blast as an act of terrorists or anarchists. (I think it's a targeted assassination plot on a certain personality, but don't quote me on that)

I will offer my two cents worth on news like this particularly on the current (in)security practices by people whose job is to protect the lawmakers/congressmen (who, for the record are making much less laws per year yet spending is increasing).

First, noticeable is the absence of canine units particularly bomb sniffing dogs.

Second, the non-inspection of people entering the premises. I noticed once too often guards, like those deployed in mall entrances, don't really know what they're looking for with their magic sticks wagged at the openings of bags of people.

Third, the apparent lack of surveillance camera to monitor and record what's happening inside the Batasan complex and the House of Congress.

Fourth, why the hell were motorcycles and vehicles permitted to park near the exits? Acceptable cushion area for parking and people exiting should be made to prevent bombs on motorcycles and cars from inflicting too much damage.

Security in the whole Philippines should be upgraded to cope with threats but I can only see physical inspection of bags plus the absurd idea of banning taking pictures as if pictures pose a security threat.

Such old-school mindset!

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