Suspect in Cotabato mall bombing surrenders to police

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – One of the suspects in the New Year's Eve bombing of South Seas Mall in Cotabato City has surrendered to cops, Philippine National Police (PNP) Soccsksargen regional director Chief Superintendent Eliseo Rasco announced on Tuesday, January 8.

The suspect, identified as a certain Salipudin Pasandalan, surrendered to police after he saw his image in television news reports with cops tagging him as a suspect in the bombing.

Rasco said Pasandalan surrendered to deny his involvement in the December 31 bombing which left two dead and at least 34 wounded.

Pasandalan is one of two suspects behind the mall bombing. The other one, who remained at large, is a man between a 25 to 30, whose photo was also released by police last week. 

Who is the suspect? Police earlier identified Pasandalan as a lookout while the younger suspect planted the second mall bomb that cops defused before it detonated.

Regional top cop Rasco said they had witnesses who claimed Pasandalan entered a bathroom with his alleged conspirator before the bombing.

Police said Pasandalan, a Cotabato City resident, hailed from Maguindanao.

Rasco said they tried to interrogate Pasandalan, but he refused to answer as advised by his lawyers. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.