Four persons of interest in Jolo blasts present themselves to authorities
A military spokesman said four persons of interest in last Sunday's twin bombing in Jolo surrendered to authorities to clear themselves of any part in the incident on Wednesday.
Col. Gerry Besana, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command, said two identified as "Alshaber J. Arbi, 18, Grade 11 student of Kalingalan Caluang National High School (man in ponytail in the CCTV footage) and Gerry Isnajil, teacher of Kalingalan Caluang National High School (person in maroon cap with red backpack in the CCTV footages)," submitted themselves to the Sulu provincial police director around 10 am .
Besana said two more persons of interest appeared at the Sulu provincial police office around 3pm.
"They were Alsimar Mohammad Albi, 24 residing at Purok 6, Barangay Bus-Bus, Jolo, Sulu and Julius Abdulzam Albi, 17, resident of Zone-3, Brgy Takut-Takut, Jolo, Sulu," he said.
Besana said according to their statement "the duo went to a pharmacy to buy medicine for Alsimar’s mother who is confined at IPHO-Sulu" prior to the explosion.
"After they bought the medicine, a loud explosion occurred at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral. Julius went outside, near the vicinity when a secondary explosion occurred. Alsimar called Julius to stay away, when the suspects who were seen behind him, fled the vicinity," he said.
"The two said they are not familiar with the identities of the suspects and their purpose of coming out is to clear their name fearing that authorities will hunt them down," he added.
The four were turned over to a special task group investigating the twin blasts.
Chief Superintendent Graciano Mijares, regional police director, said authorities have yet to clear the four of involvement in the Jolo blasts. Robina Asido/DMS