• Roxas orders police: Explain clean-up of CDO blast site

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    INTERIOR Secretary Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II on Friday said the Philippine National Police (PNP) must explain the exoneration of the policemen who ‘bungled’ the prevention of the crime scene following the deadly blast site in Cagayan de Oro City.

    The Interior secretary was referring to the clean-up done on the site of an explosion in a popular watering hole in Cagayan de Oro City last week in which eight people were killed and more than 40 others were wounded.

    “If it’s alright with them . . . it’s not with me,” Roxas told reporters during a chance interview in Camp Crame.

    Roxas is putting to task PNP chief, Director General Alan Purisima, to explain his move of exonerating police personnel in Cagayan de Oro City for allowing the site to be cleaned-up.

    “He should explain to me what he said . . . the job of the police is to investigate,” he said.
    Sought for comment, the PNP chief that the explanation being asked by the interior secretary will not come from him, but from their personnel on the ground who had actually conducted the investigation.

    “The crime processors . . . we will get the crime processors, the crime processors will have to explain it, on what they did,” Purisima told reporters in a press briefing in Camp Crame.

    Purisima added: “The crime scene was handled by the crime processor and was later released to crime scene investigators.”

    The PNP chief also said that he had a talked with the interior secretary last Wednesday where they discussed the progress of the investigation of the bomb blast last week.

    “I communicated with the Secretary last Wednesday and we talked about it . . . I also showed him pictures [taken]from the crime and the crime processors will determine what is needed,” Purisima said.

    The PNP chief on Tuesday said that he saw nothing wrong in the clean-up of the crime scene since the area had been processed by crime scene investigators before
    “I think the processing of the crime scene started at around midnight [Friday] and the time it was completed was before lunchtime time [Saturday],” he said.

    The PNP chief said that post-blast investigators and scene of the crime operatives were the ones who processed the crime scene and the results were later turned over to the Cagayan de Oro City police for investigation.

    Purisima added that their investigators are now making progress in identifying the suspects in the explosion, but refused to elaborate.

    Sources from the intelligence community said earlier that the blast appeared to be the handiwork of a group of rogue Moro rebels who were trained by foreign militants.

    The sources added that some members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were trained by Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and Abu Sayyaf (ASG) and the blast in Cagayan de Oro City could be their test mission,

    “They (BIFF) have training with some JI and ASG members last year and apparently they were on a test mission,” a police intelligence officer said.

    Anthony Vargas

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