Some human body parts remain unclaimed at Jolo blast site
JOLO, Sulu — Some human body parts, including two skulls and two pairs of feet, belonging to two unidentified bodies remain unclaimed at the site of the blast that killed 22 and injured more than a hundred people here on Sunday.
Police Senior Superintendent Pablo Labra II, the provincial police director, told the Inquirer they were looking into two sets of human body parts that could have belonged to those behind the bombing inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
“We have two sets of feet. According to SOCO (Scene of the Crimes Operatives). One pair could belong to a woman because of the footwear it was wearing, the other pair could have belonged to a man,” Labra said.
“One of the skulls still had some of the straight hair stuck to it; the other one was curly,” he added.
So far, no one has claimed the two unidentified bodies. None from families of the dead or the wounded has also reported any missing body parts, the police chief said.
Father Jeff Nadua, the designated spokesperson of the Vicariate of Jolo, told the Inquirer that all the parishioners had been accounted for. He said he had been notified of the unclaimed body parts, but so far no one has reported missing body parts in the parish.
“Wala namang nawawalang bahagi ng katawan sa mga parishioners namin na nasugatan o namatayan. So far, complete naman, walang naghahanap, walang missing, kung meron, I am sure, since the blast, may maghahanap, so far wala,” Nadua said.
(No one has lost a body part among our parishioners. So far, no one has reported anything missing since the blast.)
Nadua had helped investigators identify the bodies. “It was a bit tedious. Before we send them off for burial, I had to ensure the bodies were complete, some parts were even sent to Zamboanga City (were the injured and those who died were sent) just to make sure they have no missing parts.”
Labra said the police are now looking into the possibility that the unclaimed body parts could have belonged to the suicide bombers who carried out the explosion.
“We have taken affidavits from 36 witnesses and several of them, three to be exact, said they saw a woman enter (the church) and sit at the pew,” Labra said.
“Three witnesses, all churchgoers, saw a thin woman, wearing a gray hoodie sweatshirt carrying a backpack,” he said. “She sat near the pew where the couple Romulo and Leah Reyes were seated. It was the fifth pew from the altar.”
“Certain tayo sa loob (We are certain) because we have eyewitnesses. The woman was wearing a gray jacket. When she got in and sat, she was uneasy and her actions were suspicious,” Labra said.
Nadua said Father Jeffrey Uy, the deacon, and Father Ricky Bacolcol were officiating Mass when the explosion took place.
At the blast scene, almost a hundred people were down, 11 died on the spot, including two still unidentified victims, police said.
Based on the records provided by Father Romy Saniel, the administrator of the Vicariate of Jolo, those who died on the spot inside the cathedral were Cecilia dela Cruz, Daisy delos Reyes, Cecilia Sanchez, Dolores Tan, Fe Non, Juliet Jaime, Renaldo Pescadera Sr., Romulo Reyes, Leah Reyes, and two unidentified persons.
Two minutes later, another bomb went off and 10 more persons died on the spot. They were identified as Alvacora Perpetua, Florian Perpetua, Ridzmar Mukadil, Seaman Second Class Jaypee Galicha, Sgt. Mark Des Simbre, Cpl. John Mangawit Jr., Cpl Maynard John Ocier, Private First Class Alison Ayuman, and Private Herman Bulaybulay.
There were 21 persons who died on the spot in the two separate incidents. The blasts also left minor dents and small scattered craters, an inch deep, on the concrete floor of the cathedral.
A day after the explosion, two more wounded blast victims died in Zamboanga City — Chenly Camille Rubio, a 14-year-old youth leader of the church; and Thelma Villanueva, 68. /ee
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