Miraflor eyed in Dec. 30 bombings
- Romel Bagares and Mike Frialde () - January 3, 2002 - 12:00am
The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Ba-yan) urged the government yesterday to look deeper into the possible involvement of a Navy officer in the Dec. 30, 2001 bomb attacks in Metro Manila that left 22 people dead and many others wounded.

Bayan secretary general Teodoro Casiño said the probe should also cover Sen. Panfilo Lacson, former superior of Lt. Senior Grade Anthony Don Miraflor, a former member of the Navy’s Special Warfare Action Group (SWAG).

Miraflor was also former head of the deactivated Special Reaction Unit that was once attached to the defunct Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF).

This developed as the National Bureau of Investigation released artist’s sketches of seven of 10 suspects in what is now known as the Rizal Day bomb attacks.

Lacson headed the PAOCTF in concurrent capacity as Philippine National Police chief during the short-lived Estrada administration.

Miraflor was detained following the discovery last Friday of a large cache of C-4 explosives which authorities said had been in his possession since Sept. 30.

"Now it is established that the PAOCTF had not only the capability but the materials as well to accomplish the simultaneous bombings of Dec. 30," Casiño noted.

He held it likely that Lacson even masterminded the bomb attacks using his loyal followers in the PAOCTF.

Casiño warned that Miraflor and other members of the Estrada-Lacson clique may have been planning more bombings and other moves to destabilize the Arroyo administration.

"Until now, there has been no let up in the attempts to restore the Estrada clique to power," he said.

Miraflor was first reported to be under arrest but Armed Forces authorities subsequently said he was merely being confined to Navy quarters pending completion of investigations.

Lacson has issued a statement clearing Miraflor of any culpability, saying the failure of the SWAG to turnover the explosives to proper authorities was the fault of its current commander and not of Miraflor.

Meanwhile, the NBI identified the seven suspects in the Dec. 30 bombing spree as Salvin Camama, a former Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) member from Cotabato; Hadji Onos alias Mokles, an explosives and demolition expert who later joined the MNLF and it runaway faction the Moro Islamic Liberation Front; Rogelio Cagadas alias Roger; Amir Dimaampo alias Amer; Sammy Arinday; a certain Col. Efren Torres; Ibrahim Guindolongan, also a former MILF rebel; Roberto Onyot alias Alberto; and two John Does.

Torres allegedly acted as leader of the group.

Police tagged Guindolongan as the one who planted the car bomb that exploded at a parking lot of an air cargo terminal at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

The first bomb went off inside a passenger bus in Cubao, Quezon City, followed by explosions that ripped through a coach of the Light Rail Transit at the Blumentritt station in Sta. Cruz, Manila.

Other blasts took place at Plaza Ferguson in Ermita, at the parking lot of the NAIA and a lot near the Dusit Hotel in Makati City.

Two members of the Makati police bomb disposal unit were killed as they tried to defuse a bomb found at the parking lot of the Dusit Hotel.

Efren Meneses, chief of the NBI’s anti-fraud and computer crimes division, said the bombings were staged in retaliation for the military’s shelling of the MILF’s main Camp Abubakar in Maguindanao

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