15 Filipino runners reported safe

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LOS ANGELES—At least 10 Filipinos and Filipino-Americans who ran the Boston Marathon on Tuesday are all accounted for, according to one of the participating Filipinos.

“We’re all OK,” triathlete and running coach Arland Macasieb said in a phone interview shortly after two bombs exploded near the finish line at the 117th Annual Boston Marathon, one of the most celebrated sporting events in the US city.

Macasieb, 37, said he finished the race roughly an  hour before the explosion.

He said the bombs exploded about 10 minutes after Filipino-American runner Rolan Ocampo reached the finish line.

Another runner, Susan Marie Sobrepeña, said she was close to the finish line when she heard the two blasts and was stopped by the police from moving forward.

“I feel quite lucky and blessed that my asthma held me back today from my usual faster pace,” she posted on Facebook. “Thank you to all for your concern and thoughts. I am keeping those hurt in the explosion in my prayers.”

As many as 15 Filipinos

The Philippine Consulate General in New York said in a statement that there were no Filipinos among the casualties reported so far—two dead and 138 injured as of press time. An 8-year-old child was one of the two who perished.

There were also six volunteer nurses from the New England Chapter of the Philippine Nurses Association who were stationed near the scene of the atack, Consul General Mario de Leon said in the statement. The nurses, led by Eden Gianan, are all safe, he said.

The marathon website listed 10 participants from the Philippines, according to the consulate.

Macasieb, however, said he counted at least 12 Filipino marathoners, but there could be more, perhaps 15.

‘Attack on humanity’

“The ones I know personally, they’re all safe but the [DFA’s] list has names that I’m not aware of,” he said.

“It was an attack on humanity, not just on the US,” said Macasieb in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.

“The Boston Marathon is an international field wherein you’ve got the best runners from all over the world. They not only harmed the Americans,” he said.

Macasieb, who had already left the marathon when the explosion occurred, quoted Ocampo as saying that participants at first did not realize that the explosions were from bombs going off.

“Thank God I was already on a train going back to my friend’s apartment when the explosion happened. I only saw it on TV… [and the] explosion sounded like a big fireworks,” Macasieb said.

The Boston Marathon covers roughly 42 kilometers of open road, something thath made it “vulnerable” to such attacks, he said.

Not an attack on running

“You cannot secure 42 kilometers of open road. Security is as tight as it can be but it’s not like a stadium or a shopping mall where you can run people through metal detectors,” he said.

The New Jersey-based triathlete said he hoped the explosion will not deter runners from competing.

“It’s not an attack on running. I’m praying that it’s just one of those things that happen once. I hope this is the first and only time it happens,” said Macasieb.

Exercise vigilance

“We shouldn’t live in fear… I hope this doesn’t deter people from running,” he said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday called on Filipinos in Massachusetts to exercise heightened vigilance and stay away from large crowds in the meantime.

“We advise our kababayan in that area to be vigilant and avoid congregating in large crowds,” said DFA spokesman Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez.

The Philippine consulate in New York said it continues to coordinate with Boston authorities and the Filipino-American community to make sure all Filipinos who were in the vicinity of the explosion are safe and accounted for, De Leon said.

He said the consulate had checked with four hospitals in Massachusetts, including the St. Elizabeth Medical Hospital, Boston University Medical, Massachusetts General and New England Medical Center, and found that no Filipino had been admitted to these hospitals for blast injuries.

He said the consulate had not received any report of Filipino casualties from the Filipino-American community.

Local threat groups

In Manila, The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it was beefing up its intelligence monitoring of the Abu Sayyaf and other threat groups in the country in the wake of the Boston bombings.

Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., PNP spokesman, said the PNP was doing its best “to ensure that this incident will not happen in our country.”

Cerbo said security authorities had not “monitored any specific and similar threat.”—With a report from Karen Boncocan, Inquirer.net; Radyo Inquirer

Originally posted at 12:10 pm | Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • fabuchachi

    Some say North Korea has something to do with this, but it is a domestic attack.

    • sanjuan683

      Tanga yun nagsasabi na gawa ng Nokor dapat missiles yun pumutok, Eh bomba daw?
      Maraming kaaway ang US kaya mahirap malaman kung sino may sala. Mabuti naman walang Pilipino nadamay dahil yun mga Pinoy diyan ay american citizen na at hindi na Pinoy maliwanag ba? At kung american citizen ka na hindi ka na Pinoy citizen o kung dual citizen ang hawak mo isang ka taksil sa bansa mo. Mamili ka US o Philippines yun lang

      • BOYPDAF

        Ikaw ang tanga hindi pagtataksil ang magkaroon ng dual citizenship!magaral ka nga..makikita mo sa article 4 ng consti!ang pagtataksil ay dual allegiance,wherein for example army ka sa pinas at army ka sa ibang bansa!gets mo?at ung sa NOKOr theory lng yun and it doesnt mean na di rin sila mrunong gumawa ng bomba..porket NOKOR missile ka na jan.BKit si Bin ladenpuro baril pero eruplano ang ginamit sa twin tower??try to deepen ur investigation and analization ok???

  • Meow Ming

    Oh my.., malapit pa sa flag ng Philippines yung explosion. =(

  • tuldok

    My nephew and his brother in law were half a mile away from the explosion. Family family members were waiting at the finish line. Thank God they were not hurt. Our prayers to those who perished and who were injured

  • indiosbravos2002

    Americans will have a reason to be paranoid again and the NRA will have a field day in selling false pretenses about gun ownership.

    • cato_the_younger

      Don’t you think its too early to say that? Let’s wait for the results of the investigation.

  • im_earth

    4/15/2013

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