THE police are exerting efforts to determine who handed the bag containing explosive to Reynaldo Apilado, one of the suspects in the Zamboanga airport bombing last week.

Police noted that the bomb-carrier, Apilado, was not carrying anything when he left the hotel together with two other companions based on the closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera footages.

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Neither of Apilado’s two companions, one of whom was identified as Hatimil Haron Yacob while the other is still unidentified, were carrying anything when they left the hotel.

“That’s one of the things that we are finding out,” Chief Superintendent Angel Sunglao, Directorate for Integrated Police Operations (DIPO)-West director, said.

Police said the group stayed at the hotel since July 28 and first occupied the hotel’s room no. 220.

They transferred to room number 203 last July 31 and stayed there until the time they checked out in the afternoon of August 5.

The CCTV video showed that Apilado, Yacob and their unidentified companion checked out of the Imperial Hotel around 3:06 p.m. of August 5 and left the hotel premises around 3:15 p.m.

They walked towards west direction on Campaner Street instead to the east towards the junction of Campaner and Brillantes Streets, which is the nearest place where they could board motorized tricycle or public utility jeepney in going to the Zamboanga International Airport.

The next time Apilado’s location was monitored was almost three hours after he, Yacob and an unidentified companion left the premises of the Campaner Street in downtown Zamboanga.

Chief Superintendent Edwin Corvera, Zamboanga Peninsula Police Office (ZPPO) director, said Apilado was monitored through the CCTV camera at the airport at 6:05 p.m. of the same day.

Apilado was seen standing near the gate outside of the arrival area of the airport terminal building and was already carrying a backpack, which was strapped on his back.

Yacob was also spotted on the CCTV video but Mayor Celso Lobregat noted that the latter was standing away from Apilado, which is near the stairs towards the parking area of the airport.

Apilado died on the spot when the bomb in his backpack went off at 6:15 p.m. while arriving passengers are coming out of the arrival area.

Yacob died more than an hour after the explosion while undergoing treatment in a hospital in Zamboanga City.

The police authorities believed the bag containing the bomb was handed to Apilado somewhere along the way from the hotel to the airport. (Bong Garcia)