2 persons of interest in Jolo Cathedral bombing yield, deny involvement

Rambo Talabong
The two are identified as the men seen in CCTV clips released by the military

SUSPECTS? Two of the 3 men in the videos released by the military yield to authorities to clear their name. Westmincom video screenshot

MANILA, Philippines – Two persons of interest in the Jolo Cathedral bombing have turned themselves in to authorities on Wednesday, January 30, denying their involvement in the blasts.

In a phone interview with Rappler, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) director Chief Superintendent Amador Corpus said two men seen in the CCTV clips released by the military presented themselves to local officials Wednesday morning.

Corpus said the two men wanted to clear their names after they were tagged as “persons of interest” and even “suspects” in the blast as police and military probes moved forward.

One of them is the man believed to alias Kamah—the man in the clips whose hair was in a bun and wore a blue-green jacket.

Kamah has been identified as a member of the Ajang-Ajang faction of the Abu Sayyaf Group and the brother of fallen bandit leader Surakah Ingog, an alleged bombmaker slain in Sulu in August 2018. But the man seen in the CCTV believed to be Kamah denies the association. (READ: What we know so far: Jolo Cathedral bombing)

One of the theories being checked out by the military was that the man believed to be Kamah could have been involved with the blasts at the cathedral after he was seen extending his hand holding a small black item before the second explosion occurred. (WATCH: Outside Jolo Cathedral during the bombing)

According to Corpus, the two have been turned over to the Special Investigation Task Group in charge of probing the bombing. They are giving their testimonies to authorities as of press time. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.