Sunday, October 30, 2016

Davao City bomb suspects flown to Manila; manhunt for bombers continues

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Oct 31): Davao City bomb suspects flown to Manila; manhunt for bombers continues

Police and military agents are flying to Manila the four other suspects in the Davao City night market bombing who were arrested in Cotabato City and Maguindanao early Friday.

In a statement, the Philippine Army commander, Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año, said the government would not stop until all involved in the Davao bombing were put in jail.

“The Army will continue haunting other terrorists for the protection of the public and to serve justice,” he said.

The suspects — Mohammad Lalaog Chenikandiyil, Zack Haron Villanueva Lopez, Jackson Mangulamas Uzi and Ausan Abdullah Mamasapano—were arrested during raids in hideouts on 48 Ilang-ilang Street, Barangay Rosary Heights 7, Cotabato and on 11th Street, SPDA Village, Barangay Tamontaka, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao at around 2 a.m.

The four arrested suspects are under the custody of the Philippine National Police, which is preparing charges of violations of Republic Act No. 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act of 2013, and RA 9371 or the Human Security Act of 2007.

Operatives of the various units of the PNP-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the Philippine Army and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency conducted the raids using a search warrant issued by Judge Banzawan Ibrahim of the Cotabato RTC.

The Philippine Army spokesman, Col. Benjamin Hao, said the locations of the hideouts of the Maute Group, the armed militant Islamist organization tagged responsible for the Davao bombing, were passed on to the government by an intelligence agent and later verified by follow-up operations.

Recovered items from the search in the hideouts were .45 and .38-pistols, several boxes of ammunition, a hand-held radio with charger; three pieces of 60-mm mortar improvised explosive devices; one piece of 105mm Howitzer improvised explosive device, and a hand grenade.

The arrest of the additional suspects, followed the apprehension last Oct. 4 of three others, namely TJ Tagadaya Macabalang, Wendel Factural, and Musaili Mustapha, who have been charged by the Department of Justice in Manila.

Investigators have said more than a dozen members of the Maute Group are believed responsible for the Sept. 2 Davao City bombing.

The military earlier said the Davao bombing was meant to the distract government from its all-out offensive against the bandit group Abu Sayyaf in Basilan and Sulu and to attract attention from the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis).

Fourteen people were killed and about 70 others were injured in the bombing.

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