Davao cinema bombing suspects caught on CCTV
DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Images captured by closed-circuit TV cameras at two malls here whose cinemas were bombed on September 16 show only one man was likely to have planted the explosives.
But other images captured by one particular CCTV camera at one of the malls suggest that a man, described by the authorities ”as of retirement age,” could have been an accomplish as he was shown buying a lot of 9-volt dry-cell batteries from a store.
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he would offer a P2-million reward for the capture of the two men if they don’t voluntarily turn themselves in by Monday. He said the two men had aroused the authorities’ curiosity because of their “suspicious” movements.
“I will give you 48 hours to come forward and tell the authorities you had nothing to do with the explosions, or else, there would be P2 million reward for the two of you,” he said on Friday.
According to Duterte, images captured by a security camera showed a man, wearing a baseball cap and a white long-sleeved shirt with a sling bag on the right shoulder and a light jacket on the other, entering SM City’s Cinema 1 at 6:40 p.m.
Duterte said that at 7:28 p.m., the man went out of the cinema, now wearing his jacket and the sling bag bulging on his back.
He said the same man entered the Gaisano Mall Cinema 5 at 8:19 p.m., nearly an hour after coming out of the SM City Cinema 1.
Even with heavy traffic, the trip from SM in Ecoland to the Gaisano Mall in the Bajada area would take less than an hour, which fueled suspicions the man was the bomb planter, an investigator said.
Senior Superintendent Ronald dela Rosa said that when the SM suspect was caught on the Gaisano Mall’s CCTV, he was still wearing the same cap, jacket and sling bag.
“He was about 5’4” to 5’5” in height, slim, fair-complexioned, and about 30 years old,” dela Rosa said.
He said the other suspect, who was “of retirement age,” was also monitored buying 21 pieces of MSM-HK 9-volt batteries from a store in one of the malls.
Another indication that the same people were involved in the two bombings was that the fragments and chemical residues recovered from both sites bore a “clear resemblance” to each other, Dela Rosa said.
“We are still in the process of perfecting the resolution of the picture,” said Duterte, who maintained that the Misuari-led faction of the Moro National Liberation Front could not have been involved.
He said the authorities were not concluding that the two men in the CCTV images were the bombers but were giving them an opportunity to air their side.
“So, if you’re not connected to terrorism, tell us. We don’t jump into conclusion here but if you don’t make it in 48 hours, then, there’s a P1 million reward for [each of] you,” Duterte said.
Dela Rosa said it was likely the suspects had sneaked in most of the bomb components although some of them could have actually been purchased in either of the malls.
With a report from Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao
Originally posted at 1:25 p.m.
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