MANILA — Fears of Philippine electoral violence grew Sunday when nearby explosions cut short an opposition rally in Zamboanga and a slain campaign worker was buried in the tense Luzon town of Capas.
Presidential nominee Corazon Aquino and her running mate, Salvador Laurel, were on stage when the first blast startled the crowd at Zamboanga on the southern island of Mindanao. Police said it was a grenade that exploded in a park two blocks away. No one was injured.
Shortly afterward, another loud noise was heard. Aquino said that an aide told her it was a car backfiring, but police speculated that it was a firecracker. Officers said there were no arrests and that they had no suspects.
Meanwhile in Capas, north of Manila, a nervous crowd attended funeral rites for Jeremias de Jesus, an Aquino campaign worker shot to death Wednesday. Aquino supporters wearing yellow T-shirts and dresses, the color of her campaign, filled the church. Outsiders were closely watched by the mourners.
Jose Feliciano, the local Aquino campaign manager, said the killing of De Jesus and his driver has frightened opposition supporters in the town and led several members of a civilian poll-watching group to resign.