‘CDO blast suspect calm and cool, spoke few words’

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/29 July) — The man suspected to have acted alone in the blast that has so far claimed eight lives appeared calm and cool when he walked into Kyla’s Bistro at the LimKetKai Rosario Arcade, picked a table and ordered a bottle of San Miguel Light from a waiter last Friday night, police said.

Supt. Michael John Deloso of the city police said the medium-built bombing suspect, estimated to be between 36 and 40 years old and 5’4” to 5’5” in height did not stay long.

Deloso said that less than five minutes after the suspect left Kyla’s Bistro, the bomb exploded killing three persons on the spot and injuring over 40 others. The five other fatalities died in the hospital.

“Our witnesses described him as very cool. The suspect never spoke in a complete sentence. ‘Sige, San Mig Light’ were the only words the suspect spoke,” the police official said.

Police released Monday two cartographic sketches in Cagayan de Oro and three in Manila based on the testimonies of witnesses and the images of the suspect caught in five CCTV cameras at the LimKetKai Rosario Arcade.

Police also did a reenactment and a reconstruction of the crime scene after Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas scolded them for allowing the restaurant owners to clean the blast site less than 24 hours after the incident.

Deloso said that based on the witnesses’ accounts and CCTV images, the suspected lone bomber who was wearing a grey t-shirt and dark-colored short pants, arrived at Kyla’s Bistro before 11pm Friday.

He said the suspect, who was wearing a bull cap, picked a spot at Kyla’s and ordered beer from a waiter.

At the time, the street party along the row of upscale restaurants at the LimKetKai Rosario Arcade was in full swing. Most of the partygoers were doctors and medical representatives who were in the city to attend the national midyear convention of the Philippine College of Chest Physicians.

During the reenactment last Sunday, witnesses told police probers the suspect placed a black bag on the table as a waiter came to ask for his order.

Deloso said the suspect stood up and went to the comfort room inside Kyla’s as soon as the waiter left to get his order of beer.

When the suspect came back, the witnesses saw him transfer the black bag from the table to a chair and left, he said.

“The suspect did not even wait for his beer. He left abruptly. Less than five minutes later the bomb exploded,” Deloso said, adding the suspect’s departure from Kyla’s was recorded by a CCTV camera in one of the restaurants.

The police official said a total of five CCTV cameras were working at the time of incident.

The number of computer drawings presented by the police (three in Manila and two in Cagayan de Oro) created confusion as to the number of suspects in the blast.

“There is really one suspect only. There are many sketches because these are the general descriptions of witnesses who were able to see the suspect with or without the bull cap and pair of eyeglasses,” Deloso said. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)