President Rodrigo Duterte talks to Fatima Manalo (center), who was among the survivors of the deadly bombing in the Davao City night market in Roxas Avenue. (Photo by Karl Norman Alonzo/PPD)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Wearing crutches and poised on wheelchairs, survivors of the Davao bombing and their relatives arrived at the Matina Enclaves here Monday, September 19 for a scheduled meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte.

Davao Today was able to interview some of the victims and families who were present the meeting where President Duterte handed out cash assistance in check later in the night.

Raising kids by himself

Edmon Arellano, father of three very young children, lost his wife in the bombing. His wife, Ma. Luz was among the 15 who died. She worked as a massage therapist, while Edmon was a former security guard.

Arellano said he still cannot accept the death of his wife especially now that he is left on his own to raise their children.

“Hanggang ngayon hindi ko pa matanggap yung pagkawala ng asawa ko lalo na ngayon na nagkakasakit yung mga anak ko (Until now I cannot accept that my wife is gone, especially now that our children are getting sick),” he told Davao Today.

Arellano said he resigned from work recently to focus in raising his children: Dave Yukixis, 6; Athea, 4 and Zxania, 2.

Arellano said his children always cry looking for their mother. “It’s very painful; it’s like my heart is being pierced,” he said.

Arellano said he hopes the President could also provide him with a job to support his family. He said he and Ma. Luz hope that their children will finish school.

Not from Davao

Marietta Balili, 56, from Manila hopped her way to the comfort room with only her right foot. She was assisted by a staff of the City Social Services and Development Office. Balili’s left leg led still has a shrapnel from the improvised explosive device set off by a still unidentified suspect at the Roxas night market on September 2.

Balili described the pain as like having a bug inside her foot.

A financial adviser for an insurance company, she said while she still feels pain with her injury, it is not that serious compared to others.

She was visiting Davao City for the third time and was out with a friend for a massage at the night market when the blast occurred. Balili said that she misses her family.

“I miss my family and I am excited to go home this Sunday (September 25),” she told Davao Today.

Cash aid

Arellano is among the 12 beneficiaries who received P250,000 for each family member who died in the bombing.

Norman Baloro, head of the City Social Services and Development Office in Buhangin District said 11 casualties who sustained serious injuries and are still in the hospital were given the same amount.

Meanwhile, survivors who were admitted for more than a week received P100,000, while outpatient will also receive aid of at least P50,000, said Baloro.

Baloro said the money is sourced from the President’s Social Fund.


Duterte assured the victims and their families that if they run out of money they can seek the assistance of City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

The City has previously released P4.5 million cash assistance for the victims. Each family of those killed will be given P40,000 while those injured will receive P30,000 each.

But Duterte added, “If Inday (Sara) cannot solve the problem here, then let me know and I will take care of you.”

The Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) together with Davao City Police Office (DCPO) and Task Force (TF) Davao filed criminal charges against the prime suspect of the bombing at the Hall of Justice here on September 14.

Senior Supt. Valeriano de Leon, SITG head said that based on their investigation there are five John Does and three Jane Does and the identified male prime suspect. (davaotoday.com)

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