Cops release images of Cotabato bombing suspects

Cops release images of Cotabato bombing suspects

COTABATO CITY — Police on Friday night released the images of two suspects captured on closed-circuit television (CCTV) as they placed the second improvised bomb inside the South Seas Mall minutes before an initial bomb exploded last December 31.

The bombing left two people dead and injured 34 others.

At a news conference, Senior Supt. Oliver Enmodias, head of the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) – SouthSeas, presented to the media the two images of suspects, one about 25 to 30 years old and the other, about 50 to 60 years old.

Retired Police Supt. Rolen Balquin, city civil security chief, said the local government of Cotabato has offered a PHP500,000 cash reward for anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of the suspects.
“They were captured on CCTV placing a bag beside a Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office lotto outlet adjacent to the baggage counter at the second floor of South Seas Mall,” Enmodias told reporters.

The two suspects placed the bag minutes before an improvised bomb ripped through a row of sidewalk vendors’ stalls in front of the mall’s main entrance.

Bomb experts later discovered the improvised bomb at the second floor while conducting clearing operations after the 1:59 p.m. blast that ripped through the main entrance/exit doors of the mall along Don Rufino Alonzo St.

“They were clearly captured by CCTV and we have strong evidence they were behind the bombing,” Enmodias said. 
Both Enmodias and Senior Supt. Rolly Octavio, city police director, appealed to the public to help authorities locate the suspects.  Edwin Fernandez/