1 of 2 suicide bombers in Sulu blast confirmed as Filipino

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THE ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) confirmed on Wednesday that one of the two suicide bombers in the June 28 attack on a military camp in Indanan, Sulu was a Filipino. The “first Filipino suicide bomber” was identified as Norman Lasuca. The Regional Crime Laboratory Office of the Police Regional Office 11 concluded that there is 99.99% percentage probability match on the DNA sample taken from Vilman Lasuca, the professed mother of the suspect. PNP Spokesperson Col. Bernard M. Banac said the attack was initiated by the Abu Sayyaf group, contrary to the claim of the Islamic State or ISIS. “Based on information na nakuha natin (that we gathered), this was a locally-initiated attack organized by the Abu Sayyaf group… So as of now, wala pang ebidensya na may kaugnayan ang ISIS dito (there is still no evidence that ISIS had something to do with this),” said Mr. Banac in a press briefing at Camp Aguinaldo. This most recent bombing in Sulu was the third major explosion in Mindanao since it was placed under martial law in 2017. For his part, AFP Spokesperson BGen. Edgard A. Arevalo said it is still too early to say whether they would recommend extending martial law in Mindanao, which under the current declaration would be in effect until the end of the year. “At the end of the day, it’s the President, the commander-in-chief, who has the final say on the decision as to whether or not we should keep the martial law in effect,” said Mr. Arevalo. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras