Quiapo twin blasts investigators train sight on Shiite imam

MANILA — The investigation being conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) on the twin blasts in Quiapo, Manila that happened on Saturday night which claimed the lives of two individuals is now focused on a Shiite Muslim cleric.

Both PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa and National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Oscar Albayalde on Sunday said the Quiapo twin blasts were neither connected to the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) nor any terrorist group.

They said that the target of the sender of the “package”, which later turned out to contain an explosive device, was only one person.

The target individual was identified as Atty. Nasser Abinal, a Revenue District Officer of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), who is assigned in Intramuros, Manila.

According to Albayade, Abinal claimed that he has long been receiving “threats” to his life.

It was learned that a delivery man was carrying the said “package” and it was turned over to Abinal’s aide even before it exploded, which caused their instantaneous death.

Nevertheless, Albayalde believes that the “targeting” of Abinal might be “work-related” or religion.

Likewise, Albayalde confirmed that a copy of the CCTV (closed-circuit television) footage in the blast site is now in the possession of the investigators.

As of Sunday, the “post-blast investigation” in the area is ongoing.

The NCRPO chief also said that Norzagaray Street is now placed on “lock down” and the entry and exit of vehicles in the area are strictly prohibited.

Albayalde also disclosed that they are now conducting a “profiling” for all the tenants of the building on the blast site.

There are more than 50 tenants of the building and all have been invited by the PNP.

The Manila Police District (MPD) has identified “persons of interest”, however, they are still “subject for investigation”.

The PNP has not yet to determine what kind of explosive was used in the twin blasts. Perfecto Raymundo Jr./PNA-northboundasia.com