Foreigners in Jolo bombing? PH gov’t to DNA-test unidentified bodies

Rambo Talabong
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana doubts that Filipinos would carry out suicide bombing

TRIBUTE. President Rodrigo Duterte pays his last respects to one of the victims who died during the twin blasts at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu, as he visits Camp Teodulfo Bautista on January 28, 2019. Malacañang photo

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government will test the DNA of unidentified bodies found after the Jolo Cathedral bombing, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Wednesday, January 30.

“We’re trying to have him, have him or her, DNA-tested for us to know what. I don’t know how we’re going to find out who he is by DNA, but maybe we can find out what nationality, if Filipino or foreigners, because there are those saying that the one who committed suicide bombing was a foreigner,” Lorenzana said in a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo. 

This comes after President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the cathedral bombing was the work of a couple. Lorenzana said he doubts that Filipinos would carry out suicide bombing, raising the suspicion that there may be foreign terrorists among the fatalities.

Lorenzana said he got information that the husband and wife were Yemeni, but this has yet to be proven with the DNA tests.

Even the President’s announcement, Lorenzana said, remains to be a theory, as police and military are still gathering and analyzing pieces of evidence from the locked-down crime scene. (READ: What we know so far: Jolo Cathedral bombing)

“The theory of being a suicide bombing or not is still there, hanging in the air. It appears to be a suicide bombing because of the many body parts, but we are still waiting for confirmation,” Lorenzana said.

The sample of the body parts are still being swabbed by police and military personnel before being sent to their respective laboratories for analysis. – 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.