Bombs Found As Manila Readies For Apec Summit

MANILA - Bombs were discovered today at Manila's airport and at the former U.S. military base where President Clinton meets 17 other Pacific Rim leaders on Monday, heightening security concerns for the summit.

One bomb was discovered this evening in a bag in the arrival area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, officials said. A bomb squad was called to detonate it outside the terminal.

Another was found hours earlier by a janitor near the main gate of the Subic Bay Freeport, the former U.S. naval base west of Manila where the leaders meet Monday for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. That bomb was defused, and officials gave conflicting reports about it.

The head of Subic said the bomb was part of a drill conducted by the Philippine Presidential Security Group to test security preparations and that it did not have a blasting cap.

"That was an exercise that very few of us knew about," said Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman Richard Gordon. "I didn't even know about it myself. I wouldn't have approved it this close to APEC."

However, Air Force Capt. Ruben Carandang, who is assigned to the Presidential Security Group at Subic, said he knew of no bomb drill.

"We don't conduct bomb drills because it will scare people," he said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for either bomb.