Suspects in Cotabato City blast charged

July 17, 2009 11:04 pm 

KIDAPAWAN CITY, July 18 –- Charges of multiple murders and multiple attempted murders have been filed against a certain John Doe and several other persons believed to be behind the bloody July 5 blast in Cotabato City, according to a top police official in Central Mindanao said.

Chief Supt. Felicisimo Khu, deputy police regional director for administration in Central Mindanao (Region 12), said the cases were filed at the Prosecutor’s Office in Cotabato City Thursday afternoon, hours after a case conference with representatives from the Department of Justice (DoJ) Special Task Force Against Terrorism.

Special Prosecutors Leo Dacera and Al Calica of the DoJ attended the conference in Cotabato City, said Khu.

Khu was told that even if no names were identified in the charge sheet, it still would not matter in the resolution of the case.

“As long as we have the cartographic sketches of those involved in the crime, we can always have amendments or changes in the charge sheet,” Khu quoted the prosecutors.

So far, the police have three ‘vital’ witnesses to the July 5 bombing in Cotabato City that killed six people and injured 52 others.

“Plus, we have the footage of the blast that was captured on a closed-circuit TV placed at the building of the Central Bank, just few feet away from where the bomb was planted,” Khu explained.

Initial police files showed that suspected Indonesian-trained bombers Dul Matin and Omar Patek “are still out of the picture.”

“We still believe the blast was orchestrated by a Filipino. If Dul Matin and Omar Patek are really involved, we have to find it out and maybe, look for a connection,” Khu said.

Dul Matin and Omar Patek were among those charged in the bloody blast in Makilala town in North Cotabato in 2006 that killed eight people and injured 30 others.

One of the principal suspects in the 2006 Makilala bombing, identified as Kule Mamagong, was nabbed on July 13 in Pikit town, also in North Cotabato, by operatives of the Regional Intelligence Office of the PNP in Region 12.

Based on police records, Mamagong is also known as Nasrudin Cua, a college student in Kabacan town who resides in Manarapan village in Carmen, North Cotabato.

But relatives of Cua said the police picked up the wrong guy.

Manarapan village chair Guinalid Dalid said Cua is not the real Mamagong. “I know who the real Kule Mamagong is. I know Cua to be a good guy,” said Dalid.

This was not the first time police arrested the wrong Mamagong, according to a police intelligence officer.

“In 2007, right after the blast in Kidapawan City, police and military arrested a guy in Carmen town who resembled that of Kule Mamagong, only to find out he was a ‘wrong guy’. This time, we can say Cua is a ‘fall guy’,” said an intelligence officer who refused to be identified.

The real Mamagong, according to village chair Dalid, was a resident of his barangay “but he has not returned to his hometown since he left the area in 2006.” (PNA)

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