PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa has presented the two suspects in the planting of a bomb near US Embassy in Manila on Monday.
In a press conference, Dela Rosa identified one of the suspects as Rayson Kilala Sakdal, alias Rashid Kilala and a certain 'Jamir Kinar.'
One of the suspects was arrested on Tuesday night in Bulacan and the other was nabbed in Caloocan City.
When asked if police have gathered enough evidence to link the men to the planting of an improvised explosive device (IED) in Manila, Dela Rosa replied, “positive at umamin na (positive and they have confessed to the crime).”
The PNP is still looking for 3 more persons who accompanied the 2 suspects as they reportedly attempted to act on their plot to sow terror in Metro Manila.
“Me hinahanap pa kaming tatlo. Na-identify na namin kung sino sila (We are still looking for 3 more persons. We have identified them),” Dela Rosa added.
Dela Rosa also stated, the suspects’ initial plan was to stage an explosion in Luneta.
“Unang target nila was Luneta. Pumalpak ang triggering device ng bomba, so lumipat sila sa Roxas Boulevard (Their first target was Luneta. The triggering device failed so they transferred to Roxas Boulevard),” he said.
The PNP Chief noted, the suspects belong to the group of Ansar Al Khalifa based in Central Mindanao.
The group has links with Maute terror group in Butig, Lanao del Sur.
Khalifa's group allegedly wishes to be recognized by the ISIS international terrorist organization.
“They are aligned with the ISIS. Kung makakapagpasabog sila, they are hoping na ma-accept sila as members of ISIS (if they can trigger an explosion, they are hoping to be accepted as ISIS members),” Dela Rosa said.
He further explained why Khalifa's group wanted to be noticed: “They [the ISIS] control the oil wells in the Middle East. Napakarami nilang pera (they have so much money).”
The suspects will be charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism under the Human Security Act, as well as illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
Dela Rosa also reminded the public that the whole country is still under Terror Alert Level 3.
He said, this is the reason why people may see some policemen setting up random checkpoints in Metro Manila and other urban areas.
He added, this alert status has been in place since the Davao blast on September 2, 2016.