Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ex-soldier nabbed in raid on ‘bomb factory’ in N. Cotabato

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato -- Government security forces recovered three "finished" bombs and arrested a former soldier and his militiaman-brother during a raid on an alleged bomb factory in North Cotabato, the military and the police reported Saturday.

Lieutenant Rey Turingan of the 38th Infantry Battalion, who was one of the lead officers during the June 26 raid, said the bombs recovered from the factory in Antipas, North Cotabato were fashioned out of 81-millimeter mortar shells.

Similar bombs were used in the series of attacks in Central Mindanao and some parts of Southern Mindanao, which the military and the police had pinned on the al-Khobar gang, an alleged ally of the Jemaah Islamiyah, and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The MILF has consistently denied involvement in the series of bomb attacks.

Authorities said they could not immediately say if the bombs used in previous attacks, which killed more than two dozen people in 2006 and 2007, were made in the same bomb factory.

Senior Police Officer 3 Randy Ballecas, a member of the raiding team, said the suspected operators of the bomb factory, Eleorde Pacheco and his brother Marlo, did not resist arrest.

Lieutenant Colonel Julieto Ando, spokesperson of the military's 6th Infantry Division, which has jurisdiction over North Cotabato, said Pacheco, 44, was a member of the Army's 31st Special Forces Company while his brother is a militiaman.

"The raid was carried out after an undercover agent who, acted as buyer confirmed the illegal business of the two suspects," Ando said.

Ando said aside from the finished bombs, the suspects also yielded blasting caps.

"Illegal possession of explosives and gun running will be filed against the suspects," he said.

Eid Kabalu, MILF civil military affairs chief, said the discovery of the bomb factory and the arrest of a former soldier and a militiaman should make the military and the police rethink their assessments on the bombings.

"We have long said that we are not involved in the bombings and that we suspect that a third party was behind it in an effort to drag us down," Kabalu said.

Although he did not specify which third party he was referring to, Kabalu said those behind the bombings do not want the peace talks to move on.

"They are anti-peace and they want to widen the gap between Muslims and Christians," he said.(Jeoffrey Maitem; INQ.net)

No comments: