Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa revealed on Thursday they know the alleged bomber of the popular night market in Davao City last week which killed 14 people.
Investigators got the suspect's identity through statements of witnesses when the explosion happened in Barangay Santa Ana.
"We already identified him based on the testimonies of people in the area," Dela Rosa said in an ambush interview with reporters. He did reveal his name as police are trying to find him.
“Since we already know his identity, the job of the police is how to locate him. We know where he is hiding so the manhunt operations are ongoing," said Dela Rosa
Dela Rosa is certain they have zeroed on the suspect as witnesses were presented 20 portraits and they identified the person as the bomber.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte raised a reward leading to the information that would result in the arrest of the bomber, a city official said.
The amount has been raised to three million pesos from two million pesos, said Benito de Leon, chief of the Davao City Public Safety and Security Command Center.
The latest development bolstered the police’s theory the attack was likely in retaliation of the government's intensified war on illegal drugs.
"The more it reinforced our theory about narco-terrorism," said Dela Rosa.
Before the explosion, Dela Rosa said they received information drug personalities in central Mindanao are financing bombing operations to thwart the government's anti-drug campaign.
"They are the masterminds. They are the ones financing terror attacks," said Dela Rosa.
On Wednesday, the Special Investigation Task Group released a computerized sketch of a hooded and masked man who, according to witnesses, left a dark blue bag which contained the bag.
Police crafted the sketch using the accounts of injured survivors and other witnesses. Emmanuel Tupas, Robina Asido/DMS