THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday released the composite sketch of three persons believed to be the suspects of the deadly blast in a restobar in a mall in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City on Friday night.
At least eight people were killed while 48 others were injured in the said explosion in the crowded Kylas Bistro and Candy Bar, a popular watering hole in CDO every Friday night.
Director General Alan Purisima, PNP chief, ordered the release of the composite sketch of their probably suspects even as he admits that investigators still remain clueless on what were the motive for the explosion.
“If this is terroristic activity, they will target populated places, they targeted Cagayan de Oro City. We want to complete all the details,” Purisima told reporters during a press briefing in Camp Crame.
The PNP chief hedges to say if the said explosion in CDO was an effort to disrupt the on-going peace-talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“We have leads, but we can’t discuss it right now as there’s an on-going investigation,” Purisima said when asked if the three ‘probable’ suspects belongs to any particular group or factions.
The PNP chief said that the police came up with the composite sketch of the three suspects based on the information given by witnesses and victims during the investigation after the explosion on Friday night.
Based on witnesses descriptions, the three suspects were of average height between 5’4 to 5’6, within 26 to 40 years old age bracket and all of them were said to be of medium built with fair complexions. Witnesses added that two of three men were wearing brown shirts and jeans while the other one was wearing gray-colored shirt, call and eyeglasses.
Purisima admitted that there could be a ‘failure of intelligence’ on the part of the CDO police and added that they will be looking further into it.
“We are determining the lapses and the measures that should [have]been done before the blast. . .we want to know what are their lapses and what are their measures… everybody is working here,” Purisima said.
Purisima said that the PNP is also investigating on the reason why the CDO police failed to immediately secure the crime scene after the explosion.
“What are the failures of first responders . . .their first job is to secure the crime scene . . . Cleaning of crime scene is obstruction of justice,” Purisima said.
Meanwhile, death toll from the blast rose to eight on Monday following the demise of one of the wounded victims.
Senior Supt. Graciano Mijares, CDO chief of police, said Dr. Marciano Jun Agustin, is the latest fatality from the blast after he succumbs from fatal wounds he sustained in the explosion. Anthony Vargas