• Suspect in Cotabato bombing arrested


    COTABATO CITY: The primary suspect in the November 2014 bombing in Kabacan, North Cotabato that left a college student dead and 17 others injured has been arrested.
    Senior Insp. Ronnie Cordero, Kabacan police chief, identified the suspect as Gardo Usop, 49, also known as Gardo Sampulna, of Sitio Lumayong, Barangay Kayaga in Kabacan.

    Usop was tagged as the primary suspect in the deadly incident.

    Cordero said Usop did not resist arrest when policemen served him the warrant of arrest assisted by Barangay Kayaga chairman Bong Bacana.

    Usop was facing murder and multiple frustrated murder charges before the sala of Judge Alandrex Betoyoa of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 16 in North Cotabato.

    He denied the charges, saying he has nothing to do with the Kabacan bombing.

    A powerful improvised explosive device (IED) was set off on the stairs of a highway overpass in Poblacion Kabacan on November 16, 2014, killing Monique Mantawil, 19, a Development Communications student of the University of Southern Mindanao.

    Police said Usop was identified based on witnesses’ accounts.

    Two of his cohorts remained at large and are being hunted.


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