5 groups eyed in Davao twin blasts-A A +A
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
THE Task Force Davao (TFD) is monitoring at least five groups that are allegedly responsible for the twin blasts inside cinemas of two shopping malls in Davao City.
Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Rivas, TFD deputy commander, in an interview on Tuesday afternoon said these groups originate "outside Davao City".
Rivas, however, refused to identify the five groups pending the inquiry and investigation.
But he named Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), a Southeast Asian militant group with links to al-Qaeda, as among the five groups being under close watch.
When asked if the bombing here has a connection with the Zamboanga City standoff, Rivas replied, "Isa sa mga consideration pero saka na kung matapos na (It's one of being considered but we'll find out as soon as we get the results of the investigation)."
Two improvised bombs exploded 22 minutes apart inside Cinema 1 of SM City, around 9:03 p.m., and Cinema 5 of Gaisano Mall of Davao, around 9:25 p.m.
No casualty was reported except for five moviegoers at Gaisano Mall of Davao who were brought to the hospital after complaining of ringing in their ears due to the loud blast.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he instructed local authorities not to rush the investigation and to take it seriously.
"I don't want to take shortcuts. I do not want to commit error. Let us see what develops," he said.
He said he cannot speculate on whether the main motive of the perpetrators is terrorism, adding that, so far, it's "purely a guessing game".
"It appears to be a statement. May gustong sabihin ang tao, whether it's a political statement or statement of hatred. Hindi pa namin malaman ngayon kung ano talaga, we are assessing. So we cannot answer questions.
Let us see what develops after the investigation," Duterte added.
On the other hand, Rolando Abdul Aziz Olamit, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), has already made a statement clarifying that the explosion here is not connected with the ongoing conflict between MNLF and government troops.
"I am here in Davao City to support the peace and order of the city," said Olamit, who rushed to Gaisano Mall after learning of the explosion on Monday evening.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 19, 2013.