Duterte orders surrender of bomb suspects in 48 hours

Sep. 19, 2013

Davao Today

Police investigation on the twin cinema blasts revealed one suspect was seen in both cinema houses hours before the blasts.

This as Mayor Rodrigo Duterte gave an ultimatum to the suspects to show up at the Davao City Police Office or Task Force Davao until Saturday or the next 48 hours, or else he will issue a Php 1-million reward for their capture.

“I’ll give you 48 hours from this (Thursday) afternoon. We would like to talk to you. We will wait. But after that we will issue the reward and have people look for you,” Duterte said.

In a press conference on Thursday on the results of the Special Investigation Task Group’s probe, Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa revealed they spotted one “person of interest” who was seen in security camera records in both SM Ecoland Cinema and Gaisano Mall Cinema.

The person was profiled as slim in built, 5’5 in height, with fair complexion and around 30 years old. He carried a black sling bag and was spotted wearing a ballcap.

Closed circuit television (CCTV) record showed the suspect entered SM Cinema 1 at 6:40 pm of Monday night and left at 7:28 pm.

The Gaisano Mall cinema CCTV spotted the suspect wearing similar clothes and appearing at the ticket booth around 8:19 pm or 51 minutes later.

Dela Rosa said ticket booth clerks from both cinemas gave similar accounts that this person hurriedly paid for his ticket and avoided eye contact all the time.

Gaisano Mall Cinema's CCTV shows suspect (in cap) buying a ticket on Monday, 8:19 pm, an hour before the explosion occured. (davaotoday.com photo by Medel V. Hernani)

Gaisano Mall Cinema’s CCTV shows suspect (in cap) buying a ticket on Monday, 8:19 pm, an hour before the explosion occured. (davaotoday.com photo by Medel V. Hernani)

An artist sketch of the suspect showed the suspect had a lump on his right cheek.

The police chief also presented the laboratory results from the RCLO identifying both explosives had the same contents of RDX (Royal detonating explosive) and PETN (Pentaerythitol Tetranitrate).

The RDX, also called cyclonite in the United States and hexogen in Germany, is a type of explosive similar to C4 explosives, said dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa presented a model of the explosive, which was wrapped to a cellular phone as a switch. He corrected that the explosive was placed in a tumbler with tin linings, not in a soda can as he earlier announced.

The probe found no shrapnel or fragments in the blasts scene that blew out some of the seats. The probe said “the motive was not meant to inflict injuries or death, but to scare the public.”

The investigation also revealed that the 9-volt batteries used as the power source of the explosion was an MSM-HK Chinese brand which can only be bought at cheap prices in a store along Magsaysay Avenue.

The store revealed one purchase for such batteries in the past week and it happened on the day of the explosions where a man around his 50s bought 21 pieces of 9-volt batteries.

Dela Rosa said the police explosives department explained that bombers usually procure many batteries “to test their explosives
before they can succeed to make one.” He added he would not rule out that there could be other bombs still hidden by the suspects.

Mayor Duterte said he doesn’t rule out any group could be behind the bombing; or whether the suspects belong to the same group responsible to the bombings in Cagayan de Oro and Cotabato City.

But he said the government is “willing to talk to make something achieved for everyone” unless they had to resort to “extreme measures” to deal with bombers.

Duterte clarified his earlier statement that the target of the attacks are American firms saying terrorists eye US firms as “juicy” targets, but Monday’s attack showed the bombs can happen anywhere.

The mayor is also preparing orders to enforce stricter security measures particularly in commercial establishments.

This includes an executive order asking public establishments to install high definition security cameras at entrances to get better view of faces.

He also instructed security in public establishments to request people to remove ballcaps and shades during inspections at entrances.

“I don’t want people to enter establishments with shades, caps and jackets. All will be asked to remove these, if not we will be forced to remove you,” Duterte said.

The mayor said the government is working hard to respond to the threats.

“It can happen anywhere, and we can’t guarantee 100%, but what we can guarantee is 100% effort from the military, police and government to prevent and suppress those kind of activities,” he said. (Tyrone A. Velez / davaotoday.com)

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