HILONGOS, Leyte- Police authorities are still on the manhunt against the perpetrators of the twin explosion incident here that injured 32 people on the night of the town fiesta on December 28.
Senior Inspector Alberto Renomeron, Jr., town police chief, said that once they identify and arrest the suspects, they would immediately file the “appropriate charges” against them.
Based on the footages they obtained from the closed circuit television (CCTV) installed at the town plaza where a boxing fight was ongoing during the explosions, they were able to establish the suspects.
“While everybody in the area were busy on watching the boxing fights, the suspects were seen acting suspiciously which makes us believe that they could be behind on the incident,” Renomeron said.
He said that one male suspect could be responsible in the planting of the improvised explosive devices below the water tank and near the stage of Rizal Park with the help of his two other companions.
He, however, declined to provide details “in order not to preempt our extensive investigation.”
The town police chief said that once the identities of the suspects are known and arrested, they would file appropriate charges.
“Considering that they have used an improvised explosive device(s) in carrying out their act, we might file multiple frustrated murder against them,” Renomeron said.
Police, together with soldiers belonging to the 802nd Infantry Brigade, could be seen in streets within the town proper.
Curfew, though been in placed prior to the incident, has been intensified as well as checkpoints placed in strategic areas within the town,146 kms away from the regional capital of Tacloban City.
Earlier, possible terroristic activity as a possible motive on the twin explosion incident was ruled out by the police authorities.
Proliferation of illegal drugs and on counterfeit money being undertaken by a group around town are the two angles being considered as reasons for the incident that rocked the town of more than 86,000 people.
Town Mayor Albert Villahermosa said that he is confident that the suspects would be arrested soon, charged and put into prison.
“The police are doing everything they can to solve this incident…with the help the of the (CCTV) footages,” he said.
Villahermosa also urged the residents not to be afraid and return to their normal daily lives though should observe vigilance as the suspects are still at-large.
The town, as part of its effort to return to normalcy, held its annual “Alikaraw Festival” on December 31 and a get-together activity attended by more than 3,000 people.
But like in previous years, the activity was held inside the town gymnasium due to the incident.
The more than 300 square meter public plaza, just about 40 meters away from the municipal hall, has become a sort of tourist site in the town with some could be seen taking photos on the area that is often used for public event like the Alikaraw Festival and basketball games.
The police cordon has been lifted on Saturday at the public plaza and was cleaned up from the mess in the aftermath of incident.
The fragments of the IED, an 81 mm mortar, are now in the custody of the police as evidence.
By; Joey Gabieta