Gov't offers P3-million reward for arrest of Jolo twin bombing suspects

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 29 2020 04:07 PM | Updated as of Aug 29 2020 04:51 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - The government on Saturday announced a P3-million reward for the arrest of three more suspects behind the deadly twin bombings in Jolo, Sulu earlier this week.

A photo released by the local government of Zamboanga City identified Andi Baso, Reski Fantasya alyas Cici, both Indonesian nationals, and Filipino Mundi Sawadjaan as members of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group.

They are wanted for the twin bombings that killed 15 and wounded 75 others on Monday.

The military suspects Sawadjaan, nephew of Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, as the brains behind the terror attack. Authorities earlier said 2 suicide bombers- widows of Abu Sayyaf terrorists- had carried out the bombings.

The Armed Forces also tagged the younger Sawadjaan in the bombing of the Jolo Cathedral on January 2019 where 20 deaths were recorded and over 100 were hurt.

Sawadjaan and his cohorts reportedly fled to Zamboanga Peninsula following the terror attack in Sulu.

This prompted Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco to place her city under red alert.

"We have to increase the alert status because we were given information... that the suicide bombers from Jolo have escaped and posing a terror threat in Zamboanga Peninsula," Climaco, who chairs the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), said in an online press conference.

She also asked her constituents to be careful now that there is a security threat in the city.

“We are alerting everyone, sa ating mga kababayan sa Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), maging alerto po tayo, whether it is a suicide attack or a vehicle bombing, we are asking sa mga barangay na rin to be alert so we can deter the threat in our region,” she said.

(We are alerting everyone, those in Region 9, let's be alert, whether it's a suicide attack or a vehicle bombing, we are asking in our barangays to be alert so we can deter the threat in our region.)

The mayor also instructed the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard to boost maritime capability, including strict checkpoints, following COVID-19 protocols.

"We are asking our security forces down to the barangays, we have to be alert so that we will be able to prevent, preempt and deter acts of terrorism in our areas of jurisdiction," she added.

Meanwhile, local officials of Jolo, Sulu confirmed that a lockdown has been implemented starting Saturday. -- with reports from Jewel Reyes, ABS-CBN News