Ajang-Ajang suspects in Jolo cathedral blasts surrender
MANILA, Philippines — Five suspects in the deadly blasts that hit the Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo, Sulu, have surrendered to the police over the weekend, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said Monday.
One of those who surrendered was Kammah Pae, alias Kamah, who is allegedly a member of the Abu Sayyaf sub-group Ajang-Ajang, Albayalde said.
The other four were Albaji Kisae Gadjali, alias Awag; Rajan Bakil Gadjali, alias Radjan; Kaisar Bakil Gadjali, alias Isal, and; Salit Alih, alias Papong.
Albayalde said the suspects chose to surrender due to the intense manhunt operation against them.
During an inspection of Kamah’s house, police found an assembled improvised explosive device (IED) and bomb-making components.
Albayalde said the suspects belonged to a 22-member Abu Sayyaf band led by Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan. The group is believed responsible for the January 27 bombing of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral that left 23 dead and 95 injured as of Monday.
Fourteen other suspects remain at large as of this posting. They included Sawadjaan who is being considered as the mastermind of the bombing, the PNP chief said.
Among the suspects also at large are Makrim Habbisi, alias Makrim; Barak Ingug, alias Barak Abdulgani; Usman Aka Ubin; a certain alias Arab Puti, and nine John Does.
Three other suspects, including two suicide bombers, have died. Meanwhile, a certain Ommal Yusop was killed in a police operation in Patikul on January 29.
Albayalde confirmed that an Indonesian woman – a suicide bomber – detonated the first bomb inside the cathedral, while another man, also an Indonesian and believed to be her husband, detonated the second bomb outside the church.
He said the nationality of the two was surmised through sources and eyewitness accounts and was subject to confirmation, possibly through DNA testing.
A case of multiple murder and frustrated murder would be filed against the suspects before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Sulu, Albayalde said. /cbb
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