Ultra-rightist group denies NAIA-3 bomb attempt-A A +A
Thursday, September 4, 2014
THE leader of an ultra-rightist group accredited by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) denied Wednesday that the foiled September 1 bomb attempt at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA-3) was his group's handiwork.
Former nuisance presidential candidate in 2004 national elections and United States Allied Freedom Fighters of the East (USAFFE) commander-in-chief Elly Pamatong said there was no instruction coming from him to stage a bomb attack like what earlier reports said of the unsuccessful staging of a bomb attack at the parking area 35 of NAIA-3.
"I claim responsibility of all the actions of Grandeur Guerrero. Pero hindi ako naniniwala na gawa ni Jojo (Guerrero). I am not an enemy of the government. I'm here to help preserve the territory of the Philippines. I'm not here to destroy the country," Pamatong told the reporters in a press conference Wednesday at his camp in Barangay Cugman.
Guerrero, Emmanuel San Pedro and Sonny Yohanon were arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) before they could carry out the explosion of an improvised explosive device (IED) around 1:40 a.m. Monday, September 1.
Pamatong said Guerrero is his chief of staff at the USAFFE—not to be confused with the United States Army Forces in the Far East, which fought during World War II in the 1940s.
The new USAFFE has since been accredited by the AFP since 2003.
Members of USAFFE are considered defenders of the Filipino people and consider the Chinese oligarch taipans as their enemies.
"Our main objective is to eliminate corruption and terrorism and above all to preserve Philippine territory. Our focus is the recovery of lost islands. What happened in NAIA, perhaps, was primarily to show disgust against China," noted Pamatong who is also an international lawyer and spokesman for the Nur Misuari faction of the separatist Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
While Pamatong believes the involvement of his men with the bomb attack plot as untrue, he underscored that what had happened was a "retaliation" of China for his hard stance against the country's territorial claims over islands in the West Philippine Sea.
"My position here is that it is a China entrapment operation to destabilize the USAFFE," Pamatong said.
With his declaration of an all-out war against China, Pamatong said: "It's not a question of number. It's a question of dedication to your country. If you love the Philippines and you see the Philippine being raped, you do not just stand there."
Pamatong told reporters here that he’d fly to Manila today, Thursday, to visit the alleged bomb plotters who are members of the group he leads and make further inquiries of their situation.
Confiscated from the group were four sets of improvised incendiary devices, which Justice secretary Leila De Lima described as 6 x 6 x 8.5-inch triangle-shaped fireworks fused into a bottle containing gasoline.
The bottle was connected to a fuse that could burn for up to eight seconds.
The materials were found inside a Toyota Revo which the group allegedly used in going to the airport.
De Lima said the blast could throw explosive materials “in all directions at an estimated five to 10 meter radius. Such fragments would result in injuries and loss of lives to anybody within the radius.”
She said the NBI’s Anti-Organized and Transnational Crime Division (AOTCD) first knew of the group’s activity this July.
Aside from the NAIA-3, the NBI said the suspects were to stage bomb attacks at SM Mall of Asia and the Chinese Embassy in Makati.
Aside from the bomb paraphernalia, a document titled “Manifesto ng Kilusan Laban sa Mananakop" was also seized from the suspects.
The four-page, computer-encoded document was hand-edited. It was originally dated Aug. 28 but the date was changed to September 1.
Written in Filipino, the manifesto identified the group members as composed of former members of the New People’s Army (NPA) and MNLF indicating they were against China’s encroachment of Philippine sovereignty.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 04, 2014.