FILE PHOTO: PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) remains blank as to the suspects in the bombing in South Seas Mall in Cotabato City on Monday (December 31).
Two people died and 34 others injured in the blast that happened in broad daylight when shoppers were busy ahead of the new year celebration.
According to PRO-12 Spokesperson PSupt. Aldrin Gonzales, the Special Investigation Task Group is still ongoing with its investigation on the incident, though the process has been difficult as no one or no group has admitted the incident as of today.
“Ongoing pa po ang investigation na ginagawa ng SITG at iintayin natin ang official findings nila,” Gonzales said.
Nevertheless, the PNP is currently examining the videos captured on CCTV in the area and the testimonies of the witnesses.
Gonzales, meanwhile, confirmed that the PNP-12 Explosive and Ordnance Division is verifying the signature imprinted into the improvised explosive device (IED) used in the incident.
“Andon pa sa EOD ang mag shrapnel at ibang sangkap ng IED na pumutok at sinusuri pa nila and hopefully this following day ay mailabas na ng IED kung anong signature at doon din tayo makapag conclude kung anong grupo ang nasa likod nito,” Gonzales added.
It can be recalled that in August, authorities matched the signature imprinted on the IED used in the Isulan bombing with the one recovered in the botched attack in Koronadal in Region 12.
The IEDs were detonated using a cellular phone as triggering device and the powers source was identified to be a 9 volts battery. The container of both IEDs were also similar, a water pump barrel or a jetmatic.
Gonzales also confirmed that the 34 wounded in the blast are now recovering in the hospital. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)