Police foil North Cotabato bomb plot

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

JOINT operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines foiled Sunday a plot by extremists' Bangsa Moro Freedom Fighter (BMFF) to stage a bombing in North Cotabato.

Authorities arrested the suspected bomber near a restaurant in Midsayap town and stopped the disruption of the improvised explosive device (IED).

CIDG chief Police Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. said a certain Armos Salanggao, alias Ryan, a member of BMFF Alpha Coy, was arrested around 8 a.m. near Park Hill Inn and Restaurant in Midsayap, North Cotabato.

Immediately after his arrest, the CIDG recovered the IED a few meters from the restaurant, near a gasoline station in Midsayap.

Soccsksargen CIDG chief Police Senior Superintendent Joselito Esquivel said the IED, a live 60mm mortar with “BRUNO” marking, was recovered along with a detonating device made up of an old Nokia cellphone after the arrested suspect led the authorities to where he placed the bomb.

Fearing that the other terrorists would learn about the arrest of Salanggao and remotely detonated the IED by calling the cellphone attached to the bomb, Esquivel said the CIDG wasted no time and immediately brought the IED to the headquarters of the 40th Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army, where it was detonated and rendered safe from disruption.

Esquivel said Salanggao is now under the custody of CIDG where he is presently being investigated to determine if there are still other IED planted in the area, as well as the other BMFF members who are with Salanggao.

Esquivel said that prior to the arrest of Salanggao, he received a call from a Community Investigative Support (CIS) member about the plot to bomb a populated place in Midsayap.

The CIDG immediately sought the assistance of the 40th IB personnel for the arrest and safe detonation of the IED, Esquivel said. (VR/Sunnex)

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