2 Cotabato mall bombers identified, P500K offered for suspects’ capture

January 05, 2019

THE Police Regional Office 12 - Special Investigation Task Group created to probe the New Year’s Eve bombing in a Cotabato City mall which killed two persons and injured 34 others yesterday released the photos of two men believed to have carried out the attack.

The suspects, who remained unidentified, were caught by CCTV cameras installed at the South Seas Mall in Cotabato City moments before the deadly explosion.

One of the suspects was caught leaving the improvised explosive device at the mall while the other served as a “lookout.”

The bomb carrier was seen wearing a blue t-shirt and carried a backpack while the “lookout” sported a green shirt.

Police released the pictures of the two lifted from the CCTV footage hoping that the public can give them information that would lead to the capture of the bombers.

A P500,000 reward has been offered by the Cotabato City local government for the capture of the suspects.

The PRO12 headed by Chief Supt. Eliseo Rasco said the suspects planted a powerful improvised explosive device that ripped through stalls selling firecrackers in front of the shopping mall.

Bomb disposal experts also found a second IED at the mall’s  second floor baggage counter shortly after the first explosion.

Two of the victims, Jonathan Toribiano, a resident of Bgy. Darugao in North Upi, Cotabato City; and Mariam Wahab Kali, a 31-year-old housekeeper from Poblacion 2, also in Cotabato City. died while being taken to the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center and Cotabato Medical Special Hospital, respectively.

No group has admitted responsibility for the bombing although police are looking into all possible suspects and their motives behind the attack, including terrorism, and extortion.