• Suspect in Digos City bus bombing nabbed

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    COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: Police and military intelligence agents arrested on Thursday here a man suspected to have participated in the 2008 Digos City bus terminal bombing that killed eight passengers and wounded 30 others.

    Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (CIDG-ARMM) chief, Senior Insp. Allan Uy, identified the suspect as Kamad Makauyag, alias “Madz”.

    Likewise arrested was Mahal Matalam, village chieftain of Barangay Penfarm, Datu Paglas town in Maguindanao for illegal possession of firearms during the joint police-military operation

    The arrested suspects were at the compound owned by Matalam during the raid. Matalam is the son of former Maguindanao Rep. Guimid “Jimmy” Matalam.

    Makauyag denied participation in any bombing in Mindanao. He said he was an ordinary farmer working as a caretaker in the house of Matalam.

    “I didn’t know I have a criminal offense, I am just an ordinary farm worker,” Makauyag said in the local language.

    Government forces recovered from the village official one German-made caliber .22 rifle, a 9mm submachine gun and a caliber .40 pistol with ammunition.

    Uy said the arrest was part of the PNP’s “Oplan Pagtugis” and “Oplan Paglalansag” targeting wanted persons and loose firearms.

    “Our priority was Makauyag because he was a member of Al-Khobar extortion group, we search the vicinity and found firearms in the house of Matalam,” Uy said.

    On April 2, 2008, six persons were killed and about 30 were seriously wounded when an improvised bomb exploded. The IED was left by the suspects in the overhead bin of a Metro Shuttle bus plying Davao City and the town of Malita, Davao Occidental, which used to be under Davao del Sur.

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