"Our latest operations - planned and executed with precision by the gallant warriors of Islam - is our continuing response to the Philippine government's atrocities commited against Muslims everywhere.
We will find more ways and means to inflict more harm to your people's lives and properties, and we will not stop unless we get justice for the countless Muslim lives and properties that you people have destroyed."
- Abu Solaiman, Abu Sayyaf leader, on the 2005 Valentine's Day bombings
The first bomb exploded outside the Gaisano Mall in General Santos City, killing at least 3 people and wounding 33 others.
The second bomb detonated at a bus terminal in Davao City, also in Mindanao. A 12-year old boy was killed and 5 others were hurt.
The third bomb blasted the roof off a bus along the EDSA/Ayala Avenue intersection, near the Dusit Hotel in Makati. 3 people died on the spot, 74 wounded.
More terrible to me than the faceless, agenda-free horror of the Asian Tsunami are these premeditated murders, all in the name of a cause. Blood upon blood, death upon death, this terror must end.
I am ashamed to be part of a nation that kills and hurts its own people.
I was doing overtime at my office last night, stressing about my store, when text messages started to come in. I wanted to believe the least outrageous - that a power transformer had exploded - rather than consider the thought that same street I was at a few hours ago was now the site of tears.
The writer in me can only stare numbly at the news, at the truth. There is no sense, because unlike fiction, life doesn't have to make sense.
The Abu Sayyaf subscribe to the Valentine's Day tagline of one of the stores at the Galleria - "I (heart) ME" - selfish, heartless, blind and enraptured by the percussions of violence.