Gamboa augments Sulu police force following Jolo blasts
MANILA, Philippines — Rejecting calls to sack the entire Jolo police force following Monday’s deadly twin explosions, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa on Thursday instead ordered the augmentation of the police force in Sulu province.
Gamboa said he has directed PNP Special Action Force director Maj. Gen. Clifton Empiso and Police Regional Office – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region director Brig. Gen. Manuel Abu to deploy additional police officers in Sulu following the two bombings in Barangay Walled City that killed 15 and injured at least 75 others.
Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier urged the PNP leadership to relieve from their posts the entire police force in the province while probe on the blasts is ongoing, citing possible links of some of its members to terrorist groups.
However, Gamboa dismissed the senator’s call.
“Unless there is sufficient evidence establishing criminal involvement or administrative lapses leading to the attack, the PNP maintains full confidence in our ground personnel,” Gamboa said in a statement.
Gamboa earlier ordered a deeper probe of the Jolo blasts and mobilized the Philippine Bomb Data Center (PBDC) and Crime Laboratory for technical support to ongoing investigation of the bombings.
Gamboa said PBDC analysts will seek to determine any specific bomb signature of the explosives that were detonated based on reconstruction of forensic evidence gathered by Crime Laboratory personnel and other security forces who responded to the incident.
He added that any specific bomb signature that will be determined from a technical analysis will then be compared with known bomb signatures from previous bombings that are stored in the PBDC database. He said this process will help in identifying the person or group to whom the bomb signature from the August 24 explosions can be associated with.
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