Unnamed suspect in GenSan blast charged

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/26 September) — Police have filed murder and multiple frustrated murder charges against an unnamed suspect in the bomb explosion at a plaza infont of the city hall complex here last week that left a student dead and seven other people wounded.

Supt. Rolly Octavio, deputy city police director for administration, said they filed the complaints at the city prosecutor’s office on Thursday against a suspect who reportedly planted the improvised bomb that exploded at past 7 p.m. last September 16 near the monument of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal at the Plaza Heneral Santos.

He said several witnesses noticed a person leaving a package at one of the plant boxes of the monument prior to the blast, which happened three days after the culmination of the city’s 16th Tuna Festival.

The blast site, which is a popular spot among plaza visitors, is just a few meters away from the main entrance of the city hall building.

Investigators earlier came up with a computerized composite illustration of the suspect, who was reportedly wearing a ball cap, medium built and aged between 30 to 35 years-old.

“We filed the charges based on the accounts of the witnesses,” said Octavio, who is also the spokesperson of Special Investigation Task Group Plaza Heneral Santos.

Eight persons, mostly college students, were initially wounded in the attack, with one of them succumbing to severe internal injuries late last week.

The fatality was identified as Jay-R Magnanao, 17, an Information Technology student of the ACLC College here.

A female witness in the blast earlier said she saw a person placing something at a portion of the monument that she initially thought was some trash.

The unidentified person was holding a mobile phone, appeared calm or relaxed and even sat for a few minutes near Magnanao before leaving the scene.

Octavio did not name the suspect and refused to speculate on the motive and possible groups involved in the attack.

“Our investigation is currently ongoing and we’re focusing on the identification of other suspects possibly involved in the attack. Later on, we will possibly launch a manhunt against them,” he said.

City Mayor Ronnel Rivera acknowledged that the investigation and filing of charges against the initial suspect took some time to shape up as they wanted to come up with objective results.

The mayor said he had instructed local police officials and personnel to make sure that there will be “no fall guys and no misrepresentation about the incident.”

“We want the truth to come out in the process to ensure that the victims will also get proper justice,” Rivera added. (MindaNews)