A minor explosion rocked early Tuesday morning the headquarters of the National Capital Region Police (NCRP) of the Philippines in Metro Manila, which police said was aimed at embarrassing the police establishment.
Southern Police District director Chief Supt. Wilfredo Garcia told Xinhua that the improvised explosive devise, placed inside a decommissioned police van parked inside the police installation, went off at around 04:40 a.m. (2040 GMT Monday). Nobody was hurt in the incident.
"The van has been out of commission for sometime. Maybe they would just like to embarrass the PNP (Philippine National Police), " said Garcia. He added investigations are ongoing to establish the identities of the suspects.
The NCRP Office is located at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig city south of Manila, which also houses the police maximum security detention cell where high-profile criminals, including a number of members of the Abu Sayyaf Group, are held.
In a statement over the GMA television network, a shadowy group known as Taong Bayan at Kawal (People and Soldiers) claimed responsibility for the latest blast, saying the PNP has reneged on its mandate of serving and protecting the Filipino people.
This is the fifth blast that the group claimed during the past two weeks, including the bombings of the Grepalife building in Makati City and of the residence of suspected gambling lord Rodolfo Pineda in Pampanga 100 kilometers north of Manila.
The group also claimed responsibility for the bombing of a bus serving as a satellite police office in Quezon City and the blast near a police substation in Manila last Sunday.
Also on Monday, an explosion occurred at the Lipa City public market, injuring at least nine people. The group, allegedly composed of disgruntled military officers and men, did not own up to the blast.
The group said the latest explosion was in protest of the PNP's continued support for President Arroyo, who is hounded by charges of rigging the results of the May 2004 presidential elections.
"The PNP has blatantly turned their backs on its sworn duty to protect and serve the people, and instead, concentrates on its role of allowing Ms. Arroyo to cling to power," the group said in the statement.