Suspect in Cotabato City blast yields to police
MANILA, Philippines — One of the suspects in the deadly bombing in front of South Seas Mall in Cotabato City is now in the custody of police, Chief Supt. Eliseo Rasco, director of the Police Regional Office 12, said Tuesday.
Rasco said Salipudin Pasandalan, 56, was accompanied by his relatives when he surrendered to authorities on Sunday night. He is now detained in Cotabato City Police Station.
Rasco said he already ordered the special investigation task group commander on the case to immediately file charges against Pasandalan.
Police earlier said Pasandalan was the alleged lookout of another suspect, who left the improvised explosive device (IED) in front of the mall and another IED on the second floor of the building. Police later disrupted the second explosive.
According to Rasco, Pasandalan was urged by his relatives to surrender for fear over his safety, after his photo released by police was shown in television reports as one of the suspects in the bombing. The blast, which happened on December 31, left two people dead and 34 others injured.
Rasco said Pasandalan denied the accusation, and would not answer further questions from police as he is now accompanied by two lawyers.
Rasco, nevertheless, confirmed it was Pasandalan who was in the photo earlier released by police. He also said a number of closed-circuit television footage would prove Pasandalan’s involvement in the deadly bombing.
“Kung makikita niyo dito sa mga kuha dito sa Lotto outlet siya ‘yung kumo-cover dito sa bata [na other suspect]. Siya ‘yung katabing-katabi. Siya ‘yung kumo-cover habang nilalagay ng naka-backpack ‘yung second IED,” Rasco pointed out during a press briefing in the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
(If you will see the footage from the Lotto outlet, he was the one covering the younger suspect. He was the one beside him. He was the one covering him while the suspect with backpack was placing the second IED.) /kga
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