President admits resurgent economy faces new challenges from terrorism, high oil prices
Manila (21 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said yesterday the country's resurgent economy faces new challenges from terrorism, the new spurt in world oil prices and the continuing political noise.
In her opening statement at the command conference yesterday morning at Camp Crame, Quezon City in the aftermath of last Friday's explosion at the Glorietta shopping mall in Makati City, the President called on the Filipinos to unite and spur any effort by terrorist groups and critics of the administration to sow confusions and chaos.
"Kailangang tibayin natin ang loob, magkapit-bisig, magsikap at magsakripisyo at huwag magpadala sa mga nagbubunsod ng gulo, takot at hidwaan," she said.
On the contrary, Filipinos should unite as one nation, and guard against all threats and roadblocks to government efforts to create more jobs and progress for all, she added.
The President said that through their unity and perseverance, "Filipinos will prevail, the nation will prevail."
The Chief Executive convened the command conference to discuss latest developments on the Glorietta bombing and the progress of the investigation into the attack.
She also discussed with Cabinet members and heads of various agencies, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) the measures being undertaken by various government agencies to solve the crime at the earliest possible time and bring the culprits to justice.
Among those present during the command conference were Vice President Noli de Castro, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, AFP Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr., PNP Director General Avelino Razon, Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye, Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ronaldo Puno, and National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Geary Barias.
During the command conference, a PNP chemist told the President that swabs lifted from the scene of the blast showed traces of royal demolition explosive (RDX), a nitrate-based high explosive material widely used in military and industrial operations.
While it is the main ingredient of C-4, RDX is also utilized as a component of various explosives, including commercial explosives for mining operations.
The military explained that simply because RDX is the principal component of C-4, it does not mean that the explosive used in the Glorietta attack came from the AFP inventory.
"Maybe, the proper term is military-grade because that's what it is. It's a military-grade explosive rather than a commercial explosive used for mining," an AFP officer said during the command conference.
He said that nitrate-based high explosives were used by Jemaah Islamiyah, and Balik-Islam and other terrorist groups. (OPS) [top]