By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Saturday released the official computerized facial sketch (CFS) of the suspect in Isulan town bombing in Sultan Kudarat which claimed the lives of three people and wounded 36 others.
Chief Supt. Eliseo Tam Rasco, regional director of Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, General Santos City) Police Regional Office (PRO-12), described the suspected bomber as between 20 and 25 years old, about 5’6″ to 5’7″ tall, and weighs 55 to 60 kg., with white complexion and medium built.
Rasco said the facial composite of the suspect responsible for putting and detonating an improvised explosive device (IED) in Barangay Kalawag, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat was derived from the accounts of several witnesses.
Citing investigation reports, Rasco said the suspect placed a bag containing the IED beneath a motorcycle which was parked in front of a business establishment near the town’s ukay-ukay area. It was earlier reported that the attack was made during the celebration of the Hamungaya (bountiful harvest) Festival in connection with the town’s 61st founding anniversary.
Senior Supt. Oliver Enmodias, PRO-12 deputy director and lead investigator of the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Hamungaya, said the IED was detonated using a cellular phone with a nine-volt battery power source as the triggering device.
Further, he said the bomb was contained in a barrel of a water pump.
Rasco believes the bomber might have accomplices as he noted that “usually, not a single person could plan such type of attack.”
“The horrific attack in Isulan serves as a strong reminder of the continued threat that terrorism poses, both to our people and to our way of life and the only way to counter terrorism is through our concerted effort,” Rasco said.
“The best we can do now is to work hand in hand together with other law enforcement agencies in the thrust to prevent terrorism and help us protect our place against attacks,” he added.
Although the PNP has yet to confirm that the attack was indeed related to terrorism, top cop Director General Oscar Albayalde earlier said the suspect is part of a threat group that has long been monitored in Mindanao.
Meanwhile, Sultan Kudarat Gov. Datu Pax S. Mangudadatu has offered P1-million reward to anyone who could provide an information for the immediate arrest of all those behind the grim attack, according to Rasco.
The PNP is in full alert status in Mindanao following the incident and increased police visibility and checkpoints are expected as part of the security measures.