Indon suspect in GenSan blast freed

Bambang Gunawan, consul and second secretary of the Indonesian consulate here, said Keramis was released because no strong evidence was found linking him to the bombing.

Gunawan told MindaNews that Keramis, 35, who was suspected to be a member of the Jemaah Islamiyah, which has been listed as a "terrorist group" by the US State Department, was born in Sarangani province and is a resident there.

Chief Supt. German Doria, the regional police director in Southwestern Mindanao, was quoted as saying in an earlier report that the Indonesian was not yet a suspect in the bombings; he was just questioned.

Doria said Keramis, who attends a Christian church, speaks the local dialect. He was picked up by police when he visited the local Indonesian community at Labangal.

Keramis was identified as an undocumented alien but Gunawan said his presence in the Philippines is legal. He said Keramis holds an alien certificate registration.

Gunawan said Philippine and Indonesian relations have not been affected despite the presence of Indonesians suspected to be terrorists in the country.

He said the recent signing of the counter-terrorism agreement in ASEAN signals better efforts to stop terrorism in the region. "It is an important move (for the region)," he said.

He also cited improving trade relations between Mindanao and the eastern part of Indonesia with the opening of new air and sea routes. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)