Digos bombing suspect arrested
The suspect did not resist arrest when operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group showed him a warrant of arrest
Philstar.com/File photo

Digos bombing suspect arrested

John Unson (Philstar.com) - May 27, 2016 - 4:57pm

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - The long hand of law finally caught on Thursday a member of the dreaded Al-Khobar extortion gang implicated in the deadly bombing of a bus in Digos City in 2008.

Central Mindanao’s leading broadcast outfit, the Notre Dame Broadcasting Corporation (NDBC), identified the suspect in a report on Friday as Kamad Macauyag, cornered by police agents inside the residential compound of Mahal Matalam in Datu Paglas town in Maguindanao.

Matalam is incumbent chairman of the Barangay Pendatun Farm in Datu Paglas.

The NDBC said Macauyag did not resist arrest when operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group showed him a warrant for his arrest, issued by a court in Digos City.

Six bus passengers were killed while more than 20 others were hurt in the bombing allegedly perpetrated by Macauyag and several accomplices.

The bombing was pulled off after the owner of the bus firm rejected Al-Khobar’s demand for monthly “protection money.”

Text messages immediately circulated after Macauyag’s arrest, purporting he was trained in fabrication of explosives by bomber Abdul Basit Usman, an ethnic Maguindanaon.

Usman, who trained in handling of improvised explosives devices in Peshawar, Pakistan and in Kandahar in Afganistan, was implicated in more than a dozen bombings of buses and commercial establishments in Central Mindanao from 2003 to 2008.

Usman was shot dead by members of the 108th Base Command of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Guindulungan town in Maguindanao last year, about seven months after his cohort, the Malaysian-trained terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, most known as Marwan, was killed in a police operation in Mamasapano in the same province.

The CIDG agents who arrested Macauyag also detained Matalam for illegal possession of firearms and for harboring a bombing suspect.

The CIDG team that arrested the duo recovered from their possession a Magnum 22 hunting bolt-action rifle, a 9 millimeter machine pistol and a magazine-fed customized .40 caliber handgun.

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