Computer facial composites of possible Cagayan de Oro blast suspects outBy Jamie Elona
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police released Monday the computer-generated facial composites of possible suspects behind the blast in Cagayan de Oro city last Friday that killed eight people and wounded 46 others.
PNP chief, Director General Alan Purisima, however, declined to give further information about the perpetrators, as investigations are still determining the specific participation of each person.
The first suspect was described to be around 26 to 30 years old, 5’5” to 5’6” tall, and clad in brown T-shirt and pants.
The second suspect, on the other hand, was said to be around 36 to 40 years old, 5’4” to 5’5” tall, and clad in gray T-shirt, a cap and eye glasses.
The third suspect is roughly over 40 years old, 5’5” to 5’6” tall, and dressed in brown T-shirt and pants.
He said the three were described by witnesses who were at Kyla’s Bistro in Cagayan de Oro when the blast occurred around 11 p.m. Friday.
Eight people were killed in the explosion.
“These sketches are only probable [suspects]…not yet evidence… but we have leads,” Purisima added as he called on the public to report any information that may lead to the arrest of the suspects.
“I appeal to the Filipino people to renew our tried and tested partnership to fight this evil. Community involvement is essential in the fight against crime. Your information is essential no matter how small it is,” he said.
Purisima said the public may relay their reports to PNP’s twitter account @ireportangkrimen or through cellphone number 09178475757.
Purisima said they are also investigating the team of the first police responders at the crime scene.
Earlier, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II rebuked the police for cleaning up the blast scene amid ongoing investigations.
Purisima was also angry over the lapses. “The blast area should have not been contaminated, so it seems that the area has been tampered, it was cleaned up…we will find out who ordered it,” the PNP chief added.
He said it is the duty of first responders to make sure that the crime scene is preserved.
While Purisima said that authorities have yet to determine the real motive behind the attack, he said many angles are being looked into, including the possibility that the blast was intended to harm a particular person, and the possibility that the attack was meant to discourage tourists from visiting the province.
“All of the victims are now being studied, we’re talking to them. Secondly, we are gathering information from our intel [intelligence] units, and data from the crime scene . . . so everybody is working right now in Cagayan de Oro,” said Purisima.