MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court on Monday condemned the acts of violence by alleged warring fraternities near De La Salle University campus in Manila during Sunday’s closing of the 2010 Bar exams.
In a statement, Chief Justice Renato Corona said he has ordered the Supreme Court Security, the Manila Police District and the National Bureau of Investigation to look at all possible angles "to identify the perpetrators of this senseless act of cowardice, and bring them to the bar of justice."
"The Chief Justice sympathizes with the victims of the explosion and has directed Court Officials to attend to the victims' medical needs," he said.
The Supreme Court Public Information Office and Security Division have turned over to the investigators a video of the incident, and statements of eyewitnesses.
The High Court encouraged other witnesses to come forward and shed light on the incident for a more comprehensive investigation.
The Chief Justice has also called for a review of the security protocol, not only within the venue of the bar examinations where everything went on smoothly, but also in its periphery to prevent the occurrence of similar accidents.
Justice Conchita Carpio Morales, chairperson of the 2010 Bar Examinations, has assured everyone that the unfortunate incident will not in any way hamper or delay the checking of the examination booklets and the release of the results.
Grenade may have caused clash
Police said a member of a fraternity may have thrown a grenade at a rival group during Sunday’s closing of the 2010 Bar exams.
At least 44 were reported hurt when a melee erupted near the De La Salle University campus in Manila, where thousands have convened for the traditional Bar operations.
In an interview with ANC, Manila Police District officer-in-charge Chief Superintendent Roberto Rongavilla said “an unofficial information (I got), there is a sketch account of a male person wearing a t-shirt with Greek letter emblem ‘AKRHO’ who then threw the suspected bomb at [the] Tau Gamma fraternity.”
Police earlier ruled out terrorism, saying a fraternity war may likely be the case behind the incident.
Rongavilla said “theoretically, we really thought it was a pillbox. On the other hand, we also thought it was a Molotov bomb. It could also be a grenade. This will be revealed later.”
He said they are now coordinating with hospital officials to confirm this theory.
“Last night, we gave instructions [to the police] to coordinate with the hospitals. That if there’s shrapnel found in the victims, it should be preserved,” he said.
The injured were brought to the Ospital ng Maynila and the Manila Adventist Hospital.
He said the police are still in the thick of threshing out the events that happened on Sunday.
A taskforce has already been created to specifically focus on the matter, called the “Task Force Bar Operations 2010.”
The taskforce intends to release the investigation results late Monday or Tuesday.