Task Force gets sketches of persons of interest in night market blast
THE SPECIAL Investigation Task Group Night Market has now the sketches of the four persons of interest in the Roxas explosion that killed 14 people and injured 70 others.
Police regional director, Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, the task group supervisor, said witnesses gave “corroborative descriptions” of the persons of interest — two males and two females — to the artists who are making the composite illustrations.
One of those four persons of interests was pointed to have carried the bag that contained the bomb, Gaerlan told reporters yesterday at the Davao City Police Office’s headquarters at Camp Quintin Merecido along San Pedro Street.
He admitted that they could not yet “conclusively” say that the three others have direct participation in the bombing because the evidence against them was “circumstantial.”
The police regional director refused to name the witnesses for security reason. He said some of the witnesses are among the injured victims.
“Two of the witnesses gave corroborative descriptions,” Gaerlan said.
He said that they are already enhancing the sketches — from manual to digital stage.
Gaerlan said they will release the sketches once those are completed.
The police regional head said the persons of interest could only be considered as suspects in the bombing after the evaluation of the task group.
Gaerlan also revealed that the improvised explosive device used was made up of two mortar ammunitions – a 60 mm and an 81 mm.
“This means that it really intends to hurt,” Gaerlan said. “It aims for maximum casualty.”
He said the suspects are extreme. “They really meant to harm.”
Gaerlan said the task force was able to reconstruct part of the mortar through the fragments recovered from the bodies of some victims and in the crime scene.
Based on the reconstruction, Gaerlan said they learned that the two mortar ammunitions were fused into one.
He said the device used was a cellphone-detonated bomb based on the theory of post-blast investigators.
“We were able to recover a SIM pack holder and a micro-SD memory card,” he said, adding that they did not find anymore the SIM pack.
Col. Henry Robinson, the axed commander of Task Force Davao, had said that the mortar shell they recovered was already rusty, meaning it’s already old.
Robinson said such use of mortal shell is a signature of the bombers in Maguindanao and Lanao.
“There’s a group there that is ISIS-inspired,” he said. “We call them the Al Khobar Maute group and Al-Khalipa Pilipinas. For now, we are evaluating if there’s an alliance.”