2 bus bomb suspects charged-A A +A
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Two bomb suspects arrested last week in Cotabato City were charged Tuesday for allegedly staging the bombing of a passenger bus in Matalam town that killed 10 and injured more than 20 others.
Senior Inspector Joyce Birrey, spokesperson for the North Cotabato Provincial Police Office, has identified the suspects with their aliases, Torex and Shiang.
"Details as to the formal filing of the case would be unveiled tomorrow (Wednesday) during the press briefing," Supt. Alex Tagum of the Cotabato Provincial Police Public Safety Company said.
The other suspect, a 15-year-old boy who admitted having planted the bomb that exploded inside Rural Transit Bus (body number 2284) on October 20 along the highway in Matalam, North Cotabato, will be spared from the charges.
The boy would be taken as a state witness against the other suspects, a police officer said.
Contrary to reports, the boy was not arrested but voluntarily yielded to authorities a day after the bombing.
Birrey refused to identify the boy for his security.
The boy told authorities he could no longer "carry the burden of guilt" for having participated in the crime. He admitted to authorities that he was paid considerable sums of money after he planted the bag with an improvised explosive device (IED) inside the bus, reports said.
After interrogating the boy, Tagum, who was also appointed by Police Director General Raul Bacalzo as head of the Rural Transit Bus, immediately launched operations against the suspects on Saturday, together with elements of the Task Force Tugis, Cotabato City Police Office, and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Region 12.
Police arrested four people, including Torex and Shiang, in their hideout at Nayon Shariff Kabungsuwan, Cotabato City.
They were later brought to the headquarters of the North Cotabato Police Office in Amas Complex, this city.
On Sunday afternoon, two of the four suspects were released for lack of evidence, police said.
Tagum said the teenager whom they considered a vital witness to the crime would be secured by his men. Also, his rights as a child would be considered.
The police official added that during the filing of the formal charges on Tuesday before the office of Provincial Prosecutor Jose Agerico de Guzman, the boy was with a social worker.
On October 20, an IED, fashioned from an 81 millimeter mortar cartridge attached to a cell phone detonator, went off and killed 10 people, including the bus conductor and three university students, and wounded more than 20 others.
One of the injured passengers identified as Guinaid Adam, who was later transferred to the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, was placed on tight security.
Adam, former manager of the Peoples' Transport Corporation, who was allegedly terminated for extortion activities, is also considered a suspect.
One of the angles being studied regarding the Rural Transit bus bombing is extortion, police said.
But as to whether Adam would be included in the charge sheet, police authorities have kept mum about it.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo would visit North Cotabato on Wednesday and will meet local government unit officials, police, and Army officers to discuss updates on the bus bombing case. (Malu Cadelina Manar of Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 27, 2010.