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3 men held for Quiapo blast freed

The Manila Police District (MPD) released yesterday the three persons of interests in the May 6 Quiapo blast that killed two people and wounded six others after finding out that there is no solid evidence linking them to the crime.

MPD Director Joel Coronel said Halid Macatanong, 51; Aamir Shahzad Khan, and Joanne Palmiano, who checked in at a lodging house near the area of the blast, were invited to the MPD headquarters for questioning last Tuesday.

“There were eyewitnesses who said the three were present near the area on or before the explosion,” Coronel said.

“But based on the investigative inquiry conducted, there’s no evidence to establish that they are connected with the bombings,” he said.

Police investigators believe the twin explosions targeted a Shiite Muslim cleric identified as Nasser Abinal, who also works as tax officer of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

The bomb was delivered in a package by a GrabExpress driver who handed it over to an aide of Abinal just before it went off, killing them both.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, meanwhile, said he believes that authorities will solve the case.

“I trust MPD to solve this case in due time. I have ordered General Coronel to utilize all legal means to capture the perpetrators,” he said. (Jaimie Rose R. Aberia)