PNP searching for alleged child of Jolo suicide bombers

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 20 2019 05:10 PM | Updated as of Feb 20 2019 05:51 PM

MANILA - The Philippine National Police is searching for a 10-year-old child believed to be the daughter of the suicide bombers behind the Jolo Cathedral twin blasts last month.

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the child is the key to identifying the suicide bombers and verifying if they were indeed her parents. He said they plan to crossmatch the DNA of the child with the unknown DNAs found at the site of the blast. 

“Mayroon silang iniwan na anak dito sa Pilipinas and hopefully makita natin dahil paglaki nyan posibleng maging potential suicide bomber. Kasi of course, they saw it dito sa kanyang parents,” Albayalde said.

(They left behind a child here in the Philippines and hopefully we find her because she could be a potential suicide bomber. Because of course, she saw it from her parents.)

The PNP has already begun its efforts in finding the child.

“It's ongoing actually 'yung intelligence efforts natin, 'yung operations natin patuloy 'yan. Walang tigil ang military offensives. That is part of our military offensives and patuloy na pag-ooperate ng ating mga kapulisan doon sa lugar,” Albayalde said.

(It's ongoing, our intelligence efforts and operations is ongoing. There's no halt in military offensives. That is part of our military offensives and our police continue to operate in the area.)

The PNP earlier said an Indonesian couple was responsible for the suicide bombing at the Jolo Cathedral on Jan. 27, where 23 people were killed and more than a hundred were hurt. 

The two were allegedly aided by the Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf group. 

Albayalde said Indonesian police came to the Philippines two weeks ago to help in the investigation.

The PNP Crime Laboratory has just released results of a DNA analysis on two pairs of severed feet found at the crime scene, which strengthens the theory that foreign suicide bombers were responsible for the twin blasts in Jolo.

The analysis showed that the feet did not belong to any of the 23 blast victims.