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4 more Davao blast suspects arrested

Joint military and police operatives arrested four more suspects in the September 2 Davao City bombing that killed 15 people and wounded 70 others during operations in Cotabato City yesterday.

Army spokesperson Col. Benjamin Hao said the suspects were arrested by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency at the Southern Philippine Development Authority compound in Barangay Tamontaka and Ilang-Ilang St., Barangay Rosary Heights 7.

Hao identified the suspects – reportedly members of the Dawla Islamiya Fi Cotabato-Maute Group – as Mohammad Lalaog Chenikandiyil, alias “Datu Boi”; Jackson Mangulamas Usi, alias “Abu Mansor” and “Jam”; Zack Villanueva Lopez, alias “Haron”; and Ansan Abdulla Mamasapano, alias “Abu Hamsa.”

Hao said the suspects were arrested at around 2:40 a.m. through a search warrant for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition issued by Executive Judge Banzawan Ibrahim of Branch 13 of the 12th Judicial Region Cotabato Regional Trial Court.

The locations of the group’s hideouts were identified through information relayed by an action agent. The information was verified by follow-up operations made after the arrest last October 4 of three suspects in the Davao City bombing incident – TJ Tagadaya Macabalang, Wendel Factural, and Musaili Mustapha.

Recovered from the four suspects were a .45 caliber pistol with a defaced serial number, its chamber loaded with an ammunition; one .38 caliber pistol with serial number 12899593; six .45 caliber rounds; five .38 caliber rounds; one piece of magazine assembly for a .45 caliber pistol; a handheld radio with charger; five boxes of ammo for 5.56-mm firearm; three 60-mm mortar improvised explosive devices; one piece of 105mm howitzer improvised explosive device, and a hand grenade.

Reports revealed that there were more than a dozen persons involved in the Davao City bombing.

“We will not stop until all involved in the Davao bombing incident last September are put in jail,” Army commander Lt. Gen. Eduardo M. Año said. “The Army will continue hunting other terrorists for the protection of the public and to serve justice.”

The four suspects have been turned over to the local police to facilitate legal procedures. (FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD)