MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa on Tuesday afternoon, November 29, released an artist’s sketch of the suspect who left a bomb near the United States embassy on Monday.
The improvised explosive device, left in a garbage can, was detonated by the bomb squad of the Manila Police District early Monday morning.
Dela Rosa branded it an “attempted act of terrorism” by the Lanao del Sur-based Maute terror group, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS). (READ: Duterte confirms Maute terror group’s ISIS links)
In a press conference at Camp Karingal on Tuesday, Dela Rosa said the person who provided authorities information on the suspect will be given “a reward, a token of appreciation.”
He also said that “with or without recognition coming from ISIS” about its links to the local terror group, the PNP is keeping close watch on Maute “because they can wreak havoc.”
The military has been engaged in firefights with Maute group members since the weekend, after the group occupied the abandoned municipal hall of Butig town in Lanao del Sur and raised ISIS’ black flag. This is the 3rd time the group attacked Butig. (READ: 1,955 families displaced amid Butig clashes)
In Metro Manila, Dela Rosa had asked mall owners to tighten security in their establishments, with the PNP considering reviving checkpoints.
He assured the public, however: “’Wag kayong matakot, na’ndito kami. Kaya naming yakapin ’yang bomba na ’yan para ma-save ang taong-bayan. Ready kami.” (Don’t be afraid, we’re here. We can embrace that bomb just to save people. We’re ready.) – Rappler.com