Rizal Day bombings

The Rizal Day bombings, also referred to as the December 30 bombings, were a series of bombings that occurred around Metro Manila in the Philippines on December 30, 2000. The explosions occurred within a span of a few hours. They caused 22 fatalities and around 100 non-fatal injuries.[1][2][3]

Rizal Day bombings
LocationMetro Manila, Philippines
DateDecember 30, 2000 (2000-12-30)
Attack type
Black-powder bombs
PerpetratorsIslamist terrorists (namely Abu Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah)

The blasts occurred during a national holiday in the Philippines, where December 30 is known as Rizal Day, commemorating the martyrdom of the country's national hero, José Rizal.

Blast locationsEdit

Plaza Ferguson
Makati gas station
Bus plying EDSA
NAIA cargo terminal
Blumentritt LRT station
Locations of places that were bombed.

Five locations were bombed almost simultaneously within the span of an hour. All of the locations were situated within Metro Manila on the island of Luzon.

Type of explosive employedEdit

The Philippine National Police identified the bombs as comprising one-kilogram black-powder, detonated using timing devices.[citation needed] In addition, confessions by the convicted perpetrators describe the bombs as made of ammonium nitrate-based explosives. Most of the components, such as blasting caps and detonation cords, were discovered to have come from the city of Talisay in the southern province of Cebu. The town is known for the production of blasting caps used in illegal fishing.[5]


Initially, various Islamic groups were suspected of the bombings, including the Jemaah Islamiyah, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the Moro National Liberation Front.[1]

In September 2003, almost three years after the incident, the case remained unsolved for which the authorities responsible were berated by then-senate president Franklin Drilon.[6]

In May 2003, Saifullah Yunos (a.k.a. Mukhlis Yunos), a suspect in the bombings, was arrested in the southern city of Cagayan de Oro as he was about to board a plane to Manila. Police were alerted to the suspect when he failed to explain bandages on his face and arms.[7] A month later, he confessed to a level of involvement in the bombings. A member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front's special operations group, he was charged with multiple murders and attempted murders for his role in the bombings.[8]

In the following years, several members of the Jemaah Islamiyah were arrested for their suspected involvement in the bombings. In 2004, two Muslim men, Mamasao Naga (a.k.a. Zainal Paks) and Abdul Pata (a.k.a. Mohamad Amir) were arrested by Philippine armed forces in Marawi City. They were supposedly identified by Fathur Rahman Al-Ghozi, a known member of the Jemaah Islamiyah, as the ones responsible for the LRT-1 train cab bombing.[2][4][9]

The MILF and the MNLF were later cleared by the Philippine National Police of any involvement in the attacks.

Fathur Rahman Al-Ghozi, an Indonesian national and member of the known terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, was convicted and sentenced to 17 years in prison for illegal possession of explosives in relation to the Rizal Day bombing incidents. In July 2003, Al-Ghozi, along with several other accomplices, escaped from their holding cell at Camp Crame.[10] Al-Ghozi was later killed in a firefight with Philippine authorities on October 13, 2003.

On January 23, 2009, the three Rizal Day bombers, Mukhlis Hadji Yunos, Abdul Fatak Paute, and Mamasao Naga, were sentenced by the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 29, under Judge Cielito Mendaro-Grulla, for up to 20 years in imprisonment for multiple murders and multiple attempted murders.[11]


In December 2006, almost six years after the bombings, Metro Manila police went on heightened alert due to bomb scares and the prospect of follow-up attacks on the anniversary of the bombings.[12] The AFP followed suit days after, deploying numerous bomb squads and medical teams to both Fort Bonifacio and Luneta.[13] In addition, the PNP's Explosives and Ordnance Division and SWAT deployed teams to LRT-1 stations along Taft Avenue, near one of the original bombing sites.[14]

See alsoEdit


  • "Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Asia: The Philippine Perspective". Archived from the original on September 14, 2005. Retrieved December 30, 2006.
  • "News Summaries on Selected Topics, Mindanao Conflict, January – March 2001". Archived from the original on December 10, 2006. Retrieved December 30, 2006.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Suerte Felipe, Cecille; James Mananghaya (December 19, 2006). "After CBCP rally, PNP prepares for Rizal Day bombing anniversary". The Philippine Star. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Fernandez, Jonathan F. (August 4, 2004). "2 Rizal Day 'bombers' nabbed". Sun Star Manila. Sun Star Publishing, Inc. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
  3. ^ "Rizal Day bombing chronology". GMA News Research. GMA News. January 23, 2009. Archived from the original on January 29, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Pulta, Benjamin; Miko Santos (December 30, 2003). "Gov't seeks re-raffling of LRT-1 bombing case". Sun Star Manila. Sun Star Publishing, Inc. Archived from the original on May 7, 2005. Retrieved February 8, 2007.
  5. ^ Bacalla, Tess B. (March 14, 2005). "Coastal City is Hub of Underground Explosives Trade". Our Latest Report. Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2007.
  6. ^ "Drilon urges authorities to solve Rizal Day bombing". Sun Star Manila. Sun Star Publishing, Inc. September 14, 2003. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved February 14, 2007.
  7. ^ Sy Egco, Joel M. (May 26, 2003). "Rizal Day suspect caught". News: Police. Manila Standard Today. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
  8. ^ "Mukhlis Yunos admits Rizal Day bombings" (PDF) (Press release). Philippine National Police. June 9, 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 10, 2007. Retrieved February 14, 2007.
  9. ^ McKenna, Terence (October 2004). "InDepth: Passport to Terror". CBC News. Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
  10. ^ Sy Egco, Joel M.; Fel V. Maragay (July 15, 2003). "Rizal Day bomber escapes". Manila Standard Today. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved February 15, 2007.
  11. ^ Torres, Tetch (January 23, 2009). "Rizal Day bombers get 20 years in jail". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on January 29, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2009.
  12. ^ Vargas, Anthony (December 26, 2006). "Rizal Day bombing still haunts Metro cops". The Manila Times Online. The Manila Times Publishing Corp. Archived from the original on October 27, 2007. Retrieved February 14, 2007.
  13. ^ Vargas, Anthony (December 30, 2006). "AFP vows vigilance on Rizal Day". The Manila Times Online. The Manila Times Publishing Corp. Archived from the original on May 13, 2007. Retrieved February 14, 2007.
  14. ^ "Philippine police tightens security ahead of anniversary of Rizal Day bombing". World News. People's Daily Online. December 29, 2006. Retrieved February 14, 2007.