MANILA — Police and military officials on Wednesday confirmed that one of two suicide bombers who perpetrated the attack at the tactical command post of the 1st Brigade Combat Team (1BCT) in Sulu last June 28 is a Filipino.
“After thorough investigation and forensic examination, the Regional Crime Laboratory Office of the Police Regional Office 11 has revealed that one of the suspected suicide bombers in 1st Brigade Combat Team temporary headquarters in Indanan, Sulu last June 28 can be concluded as a Filipino,” Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Col. Bernard Banac and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a joint statement in a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo.
The PNP Regional Crime Lab Office 11 (RCLO 11) said in a report that reference DNA standards were taken from Vilman Alam Lasuca and Alhussin Alam Lasuca, claimant mother and brother of one of the suspected bombers.
The DNA results examined by Maj. Florepes Pallado, RCLO 11 forensic DNA analyst, showed that there is 99.99 percentage probability match on the DNA samples taken from Vilman Lasuca and the alleged suicide bomber.
“Hence, it can be concluded that one of the alleged suicide bombers is the son of Vilman Alam Lasuca,” the RCLO 11 said in its laboratory report.
On the other hand, the identification of the second suspected bomber is still underway as the AFP and PNP continue to collect DNA samples from possible known family and relatives and to establish match on its identity.
Seven people, including three soldiers, were killed while 22 others were wounded when two suspected suicide bombers staged a noon attack on June 28 at the headquarters of the Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team in Sitio Tanjung, Barangay Kajatian in the town of Indanan.
Three of the seven slain victims were soldiers, two civilians, and the remaining two were the suspects behind the attack; while 12 of the wounded were soldiers and the remaining 10 were civilians.
The June 28 incident is the third of its kind in Mindanao with the first in a military checkpoint in Lamitan, Basilan on July 31, 2018, killing 10 people.
The second was in a cathedral in Jolo, Sulu which killed 20 persons, including the alleged suicide bombers, last January 27.
Meanwhile, PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde ordered the implementation of security adjustments in Mindanao following the bomb attacks.
While he did not elaborate on these, Albayalde said these measures would focus on the security of police camps and public places, especially in Sulu and Basilan.
Albayalde said the PNP is working closely with the AFP to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident to possibly identify and make the perpetrators accountable so that the ends of justice may be served.
“Territorial police units in Sulu Island, including SAF and regional mobile forces are providing support to AFP for target-hardening operations in other possible targets of similar terrorist activity,” the PNP chief said. (With reports from Priam F. Nepomuceno/PNA)