PNP: 4 teens linked to Jolo cathedral blasts may be innocent
MANILA, Philippines — Police said on Tuesday that they were not discounting the possibility that the suspects in the bombing of a cathedral in Jolo, Sulu last Sunday were actually innocent.
“We also consider that, that is also one possibility. Lahat ng angles ay tinitignan natin,” Senior Supt. Bernard Banac, spokesperson of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said in a press briefing. “We do not leave any stones unturned.”
On Monday, the Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines released images of three of the four suspects.
According to reports, the four male suspects — all teenagers — are members of the Ajang Ajang Group, a faction of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group.
CCTV footage taken near the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel showed the suspects moving in and out of the church just before the explosions.
However, some netizens on social media doubted the teenagers’ involvement, basing their claim on the suspects’ reaction to the explosions. They pointed out that the teenagers, on hearing the explosion, ducked before running away from the blast site.
On the other hand, some said that the suspects might have been acting shocked to avoid suspicion.
Amid all these speculations, Banac assured the public that investigators were doing their best to solve the case and catch the perpetrators.
“Well, nakita natin, nag-react sila right after the explosion. So it’s possible that they are just one of those people there na naka-witness. Then they ran away after the explosion,” Banac said.
“Our investigators are there to determine what exactly their role is before and after the explosion occurred,” he added. /atm
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