3 suspected bombers arrested, released-A A +A
Sunday, August 18, 2013
DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday that he ordered for the release of the three suspected bombers arrested by the police on Saturday morning, August 17, an operation that kept him awake for three nights.
Duterte, in his message during the Pamulak Kadayawan, said he directed the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) to release the three since there was no evidence to prove the suspicion.
“Wala man pud ebidensya (We can’t find evidence) except for the picture and that is not evidence to me,” Duterte said.
Duterte, however, said the three are neither “terrorists” nor “bombers.”
“Hindi, hindi totoo yun ha. Yun lang ang pinapalabas na terorista (That’s not true. That’s what is being said, that they’re terrorists). You know, I ordered the release, and you have to be fair, lahat naman ng mga mukha nila ay nasa Internet, so hindi na natin pangalanan," he said.
“The fact that they are persons of interest, that to me is not enough. It is not enough to detain a person,” he added.
DCPO chief Senior Superintendent Ronald dela Rosa, in a separate interview Sunday, said the three were arrested in Vincent Heights Subdivision, Buhangin, Davao City, around 11:20 a.m. Saturday, August 17.
They were arrested while the Indak-indak sa Kadalanan was ongoing along the major streets of the city.
"Di nato nganlan ang tulo kay suspek pa lang man sab nato to sila (We will not name them since they are just suspects)," Dela Rosa told SuperBalita in an interview Sunday.
He said the three arrived in the city from Manila, he said.
The three rode a taxi with operatives chasing them.
"Gigukod nato sila, pero wa man tay nakuha gikan nila nga mga kadudahang butang, mga backpacks lang ang nakuha gikan nila (We chased them but we did not find any suspicious stuff in their possession, just their backpacks)," he said.
Dela Rosa refused to give further details.
Duterte, on the other hand, said he has been sleepless for three nights, tracking the three down.
He said he even got the chance to talk with the three and told them that he was ordering for their release.
He said he also told them to participate in the celebration of Kadayawan sa Dabaw 2013.
“Apil mo sa atong selebrasyon. Wala koy plano makig-giyera ninyo. Wala koy plano makig-away ninyo. Ang akoa is that we will live in peace (Join the celebration, I don’t have any plan of waging war against you, I don’t plan to fight with you. All I want is for us to live in peace),” Duterte told the audience, recalling what he said to the three suspected bombers.
The media on Saturday received unverified reports that the authorities had arrested bombers who were in the city.
The media even tried to contact Dela Rosa to confirm such report but to no avail.
He only confirmed the report after Duterte divulged the information during the program on Sunday.
Dela Rosa, in a previous interview, said the operatives circulated around the country pictures of alleged members of Khilafa Islamic Movement (KIM), the group being blamed for the bombing in Cagayan de Oro City.
“Dunay foreigner-looking, dunay local nga nawong. Dunay puy Kristiyano nga nawong (One looked foreign, one looked local, and one looked like a Christian),” he told Sun.Star Davao and ABS-CBN Davao in an interview on August 15.
He said he has no idea on the exact number of photos of the men alleged to be members of KIM.
“Ginapangita na tung mga nawong (We’re looking for those men),” he said.
Meanwhile, Dela Rosa refused to confirm Sunday whether the three people were members of the KIM.
"Mga miyembro sila sa KIM. Unsa may KIM? Among nasayran nga sila ang Kaibigang Inyong Maaasahan (They’re members of KIM. What does KIM mean? It means friends you can rely on)," he jested.
Defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin earlier said that KIM is an umbrella group of rogue members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters who want to sabotage the peace talks between the MILF and the government. (With Jeepy Compio)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 19, 2013.