P1M up for third suspect in Davao blasts-A A +A
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
DAVAO CITY -- Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has upped the ante in the search for the suspected bombers in the twin cinema blasts after the intelligence community was able to spot another “person of interest.”
In a hastily-called command conference at the Marco Polo Hotel on Monday evening, Duterte said he is raising the reward from P2 million to P3 million. The P1-million additional reward will be for information leading to the arrest of the third person involved.
He said the three persons of interest might be members of one “terrorist group.”
“Simply, terror is the name of the game here. But they are not residents of Davao City. We know where they used to live or inhabit but we cannot divulge it. It will just jeopardize the operation,” he said.
Davao City Police Office (DCPO) chief Ronald dela Rosa, who was also present during the command conference, said the third person of interest was the “lookout,” who also positioned himself inside the SM City.
Dela Rosa said the third man, also captured by closed circuit television (CCTV) camera in SM, was said to be the person who asked mall staff separately on whether the cinemas had lots of viewers.
“We haven’t seen this third one inside the Gaisano (Mall). But the reason we considered him as person of interest number three is because his movement is synchronized with the other suspect (in SM),” Dela Rosa said.
“Apparently, the two were not talking. No communication but their movement was really synchronized -- the dress code, sling bag, even the color of those stuffs Yung sleeve na suot nila the same, rolled, and they have the same bag,” he added.
He said the personnel of SM City recalled seeing the third person. However, they have not yet given the description of the third person.
Dela Rosa also said they already have the name, affiliation, and former address of the second person of interest, who was recorded having bought 21 pieces of batteries from a commercial center.
“Miingon pud tong saleslady didto nga kanunay naga palit ug ing-ato tung person of interest 2,” Dela Rosa said.
Duterte said they are not setting any timeline to immediately solve the bombing incident and arrest the three. He assured the people of Davao City, however, that they are doing everything to assure public safety and security.
“There are things we cannot divulge simply because it cannot be divulged and there are things which we (have to accept) that should be what it should be,” the mayor said.
He assured they are doing everything so that people will continue to trust the government.
He also said that they have to implement stricter measures “intended to protect the public,” although there will be some inconveniences.
Duterte also advised the public not to be afraid of going to malls.
He said the effect of the bombing in the city is not as bad as what is happening in Zamboanga City and that mall owners and management have already been ordered to set up more security equipment.
Duterte signed the Executive Order 24 (EO) on September 20.
The EO mandates all shopping malls and/or commercial centers in the city to: install, operate and maintain high end and high definition closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras positioned within eye level of an average-height person; subject every individual to a bodily search/inspection, particularly those wearing caps and sunglasses with dark lenses; and install CCTV cameras at the entrance and exit points of each of the movie houses, common hallways leading to all comfort rooms.
All individuals wearing caps, hats, helmets, bonnets, headgears, and the like, as well as sunglasses or any dark-lens eye wear, are mandated to remove these during security inspection.
Individuals who refuse to do so will “be denied entry into premises.” (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 25, 2013.