PSC hits out at terrorist attack hurting sepak takraw team

PSC hits out at terrorist attack hurting sepak takraw team

PSC chairman Butch Ramirez condemned those behind a bus bombing that injured an entire sepak takraw team. PSC (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—An entire sepak takraw team's chance at representing the Philippines was derailed before they even began their quest for it as they were among those who were hurt following a bus blast on Sunday in Parang, Maguindanao.

Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez confirmed on Monday that all five members of the squad, four players and their coach, were passengers of a Rural Tours bus whose back side exploded at around 8:45 a.m. the day before.

The team was supposed to head to Pagadian from Cotabato City to join the qualifying event for the ASEAN School Games.

The blast was said to have been caused by an improvised explosive device, leading to the possibility that it was a terrorist attack.

"The Philippine Sports Commission strongly condemns the act of terrorism which ended up hurting and injuring four sepak takraw athletes and one coach in their bus ride to Pagadian City from Cotabato City to participate in the national qualifiers for the ASEAN School Games," Ramirez said in a statement.

The blast was too powerful that the entire sepak takraw squad, which was eating breakfast at a stopover diner along with the rest of the passengers plus the driver and conductor, got injured.

The restaurant is barely a kilometer away from the Philippine National Police's Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao headquarters, so the local police quickly responded to the bombing site.

No one is taking responsibility of the explosion.

"There is no justification for purposely causing pain on any person, especially the ones which could possibly fatal like this bombing. This cowardly act aimed to terrorize the public included athletes among its victims whose budding athletic future is unfairly dimmed by this horrible," Ramirez further said. "Terrorism has no place in sports."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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