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NBI clears 3 earlier tagged as suicide bombers of terror links

/ 06:27 PM August 13, 2019
NBI Headquarters in Manila

The NBI headquarters in Manila (File photo / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines – The alleged female “suicide bomber” who arrived in the country has no criminal records, no holdings from the Interpol as well as in the Intelligence Community, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said as it announced that the woman, her mother and Sri Lankan fiancé were cleared of any terror links.

NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin said the only information mentioning Victoria Sophia Sto. Domingo as a terrorist was the email sent purportedly by her father to various Intelligence offices identifying his wife and daughter, her Sri Lankan fiancé Mark Kevin Samhoon as terrorists.

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Sto. Domingo appeared before the NBI on July 22 and executed her affidavit. She is a 19-year-old Born Again Christian who came back to the Philippines last November 2018 and gave birth last June.

“According to her statement, [the accusation] could have been perpetrated by her father because her father does not approve of her relationship with her fiancé and wanted her to stay at the house of her father’s relative,” Lavin said at a press conference.

Sto. Domingo did as her father advised. Quoting her affidavit, Lavin said Sto. Domingo got tired from staying at her father’s relative so she moved out.

“That was about the same time, June 7 that her father sent the email to different Intelligence agencies of the Philippine government,” Lavin said.

“We worked on this and we were able to reach out to her and she voluntarily appeared before the NBI,” Lavin said.

Sto. Domingo’s mother, as well as her fiancé, are both out of the country.

“Wala kaming holdings sa aming criminal database. Wala ring holdings sa Interpol, wala ring holdings sa ibang Intelligence community except for that email,” Lavin said.

He said they tried to reach out to the email sender to substantiate his allegations but he has not responded.

“When the operatives from the counter-terrorism division wanted to reach to the email sender, the email sender refused to provide valuable information and cooperate,” Lavin said adding that they are studying the possibility of filing a case against the email sender.

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“You cannot just play around with the security of the government,” said Lavin. Sto. Domingo’s father works in an IT department of a petroleum company in Saudi Arabia.

Lavin said Sto. Domingo is certain that it was her father who sent the email.

“There is a strong indication that it is the father because he has done this already six years ago [when] he cyberbullied his own daughter who was then a minor,” said Lavin.

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TAGS: Intelligence Community, National Bureau of Investigation, Sri Lankan, Terrorism
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