PNP declares Jolo blast 'case closed'

Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 04 2019 10:39 PM | Updated as of Feb 05 2019 04:59 PM

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The Philippine National Police on Monday declared the Jolo cathedral bombing "case closed" after authorities took custody of the man allegedly linked to both the mastermind and the bombers.

The extent of the Islamic State's involvement in the bombing, however, has yet to be found out.

Authorities believe these men, particularly the man who authorities refer to as Kammah, hold the answers to the Jolo cathedral bombing

He is said to be part of the Ajang-Ajang Group that works with the Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu.

He is also said to provide the links of the bombing to Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.

According to investigators, the suspects were the ones who picked up the male and female Indonesian bombers from the pier when they arrived in Jolo.

The military has been tracking Kammah down for days. They raided his house, killing his companion Ommal Usop in the process.

Kammah managed to escape that time, but he eventually surrendered and has been under military custody since Friday.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Kammah did not admit his involvement in the bombing.

'NAMESAKE'

He added the one in police custody is allegedly a namesake of another suspect, who is still being hunted by authorities.

"We are looking for another person that whose name sounds like Kammah, but Kammah, the one that surrendered to us although he tell us something about how the bombing was planned, he was not, he did not participate in the bombing," Lorenzana said.

Nonetheless, Kammah and the four other men arrested with him have been charged with multiple murder, multiple attempted murder, and damage to property.

The police said Kammah will remain in their custody unless they manifest in court that they need to have him transferred to a more secure facility.

Investigators have yet to determine the true role of the Indonesian bombers in the equation. Did they take their instructions only from Sawadjaan, or were they all following instructions from the group Sawadjaan has pledged allegiance to long ago, the Islamic State.