SAF officer tagged in 2011 Makati bus bombing nabbed
Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2013 - 5:35pm

 

MANILA, Philippines - The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region on Tuesday arrested PO2 Arnold Mayo, a Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF) member who was linked to the bombing of a Newman Goldliner passenger bus in Makati two years ago.

Chief Supt. Benito Estipona, former chief of the special investigation task group that probed the bus bombing said the issuance of the arrest warrant against Mayo showed that probable cause was established during the preliminary investigation to charge him for the bus bombing.

Mayo was placed under restrictive custody at the SAF headquarters in Bicutan, Taguig City after he and fellow SAF officers brought an 81 mm mortar round to a junk shop in Lower Bicutan, Taguig City on Jan. 25 last year.

Mayo was injured after the mortar round exploded when a shop helper used a welding machine to dismantle it.

Four people were killed in the Taguig explosion, including Mayo’s colleague, PO3 Jose Torralba, who also allegedly boarded the Newman Goldliner bus with Mayo before the bus exploded. Police said the explosion that ripped the bus was also triggered by an 81 mm mortar round.

Estipona added that when a search of Mayo’s locker was made, another live 81 mm mortar round was found. Mayo, said Estipona, was allegedly collecting mortar rounds as “souvenirs.”

Meanwhile, the motive behind the Newman Goldliner bus bombing has yet to be established by police which initially ruled it as being part of a destabilization plot.

While under the SAF’s restrictive custody for the junkshop explosion, a complaint for murder was filed against Mayo with the Department of Justice after he was positively identified by witnesses as the one who allegedly planted the bomb which exploded and killed five passengers of the Newman Goldliner bus in Makati 

City in Jan. 25, 2011.

Mayo was under restrictive custody at the SAF headquarters following the junk shop explosion, he was positively identified through his photograph, by a witness in the bus explosion as the one who boarded the Newman Goldliner bus with a backpack shortly before it exploded.

Mayo was also caught by a closed circuit television camera prior to the explosion Estipona said. Mayo is the only respondent identified in the complaint filed by the SITG Newman Goldliner before the DOJ.

The Newman Goldliner bus (TJX 710) was traversing northbound of EDSA in Buendia in Makati City when it exploded around 2 p.m.

A big hole underneath the bus was seen after the explosion, prompting the police to speculate that the explosive device was placed under the passenger seat, around the middle area of the bus.

ARNOLD MAYO BENITO ESTIPONA BUS CHIEF SUPT CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AND DETECTION GROUP-NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ESTIPONA EXPLOSION MAYO NEWMAN GOLDLINER TAGUIG CITY
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