First known Filipino suicide bomber identified: military

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 02 2019 02:55 PM

MANILA - The military on Tuesday identified the first known Filipino suicide bomber behind the twin blasts in Indanan town, Sulu that killed 8 people and wounded 22 others.

Norman Lasuca, 23, was one of the 2 suicide bombers, according to the Armed Forces' Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom). The other bomber was allegedly Caucasian, authorities said. 

Wesmincom chief Major Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said the suspect was identified by his parents.

The identity of the alleged suicide bomber will be verified through a DNA test, military spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said.

"If that’s going to be positive, that’s the only time that we can say conclusively that the person was Filipino and that person was the son of the claimant," he told reporters.

The military is also still investigating whether or not the incident was a suicide attack, he added.

"Whether this was a case of suicide bombing or not is still subject for our determination," Arevalo said.

"There is a high possibility that this is a case of suicide bombing but the conclusivity will still come after we have conducted and culminated our thorough investigation."

Suicide attacks are generally rare in the Philippines, but the tactic has been used in 2 major incidents in the last 12 months: the January bombing of a Catholic cathedral during Sunday mass and a van bomb at a military checkpoint on the island of Basilan in July 2018, authorities said. 

The Islamic State claimed the assault was the work of 2 suicide attackers, according to tweets from Rita Katz, the director of SITE Intelligence Group which monitors jihadist activities worldwide. 

--Report from Zhander Cayabyab, ABS-CBN News