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Leyte 5th district solon’s car heavily damaged in the Batasan blast

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
November 16, 2007

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The Toyota Fortuner vehicle of Congresswoman Carmen Loreto-Cari of the Fifth District of Leyte, was heavily damaged during the Batasan explosion on Tuesday November 13. In a phone patch with the good Congresswoman, it was learned that her car is right next to the motorcycle which allegedly carried the bomb that blasted the south wing entrance of the Batasan Complex on Tuesday night.

Congresswoman Cari said that she was at the legislators lounge exchanging pleasantries with some of the lady solons when she learned that the session was already adjourned.

The Lady Solon had to go back to the session hall to get her bag. She was already halfway in the hallway when the explosion was heard. Together with her staff, Congresswoman Cari ran back to the session hall.

It has been her policy that when she is ready to leave, her secretary calls her driver to immediately go near the South Wing entrance so that the congresswoman will not have to stand and wait for so long.

That evening, right after the secretary called him, the driver immediate parked the Fortuner near the entrance. However, because Congresswoman was delayed because she had to go back to the Session Hall for her bag, the driver left the car as he couldn’t endure the call of nature anymore.

The driver did not bother to go to the comfort room anymore as it was too far, so he just went farther to relieve himself. Just then he heard an explosion. In fact his hand was wounded because of splinters.

Congresswoman Cari said she shivers every time she thinks that had she not been delayed for only about one or two minutes, she and her staff could have been among the victims of the explosion.

Although her car is already beyond repair, Congresswoman Cari is still thankful to God for sparing her life.

"Perhaps God still has many assignments for me to accomplish," the Lady Solon said. There are still many things she wants to accomplish for her constituents, she said.

Earlier, the Lady Solon mentioned to her staff and her friends that it was Tuesday the 13th, the day of St. Anthony de Padua, whose feast day is 13th and whose day is Tuesday. The Lady Solon is a devotee of St. Anthony de Padua in Pomponan back in her hometown in Baybay, Leyte. She said she usually offers mass there because it is known to be miraculous.

Congresswoman Cari believes St. Anthony de Padua spared her and her staff from the blast.

With her car totally wrecked, she had to call her house to send in another car for them to ride on. It was only at midnight when she called the office of the Speaker informing that the wrecked car was hers and requested that the security guard keep watch of the vehicle.

Congresswoman Cari said that she offered Mass Wednesday morning for the blast victims and for sparing her and her staff’s lives.

Congresswoman Cari thanked those who called and showed concern for her and for the other members of the House of Representatives. She said that she immediately called her sister, PAGCOR Vice President and former Congresswoman Remedios L. Petilla to inform her about what happened.