Police chief says evidence vs Murad “circumstantial”

Chief Supt. German Doria, police director for Region 12, said the information they had that linked Murad to the bombings were “circumstantial” and that the prosecutors may drop Murad’s name from the list “if they can not find evidence”.

Doria said that pursuit of the case was not focused solely on the alleged participation of Murad in the bombing incidents. “We’re more particular with how JI operatives Dulmatin and Omar Patek orchestrated the bombings. We have enough evidences linking them to the case,” he stressed.

“Now, if the prosecutors find no evidence linking Murad and other individuals named in the complaint sheet to the Makilala bombing, they can drop the names,” he clarified in an interview over DXND.

He insinuated that that the documents they gathered were “presumptive” and “inconclusive”. “These were just based on the testimony of our only vital witness to the case and might be presumed weak,” said Doria.

The complaint on multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder filed against Murad and 19 others, including two suspected top operatives of the Indonesia-based militant Jema’ah Islamiya, has not yet been studied and evaluated by the City Prosecution here.

The complaint was submitted by Insp. Reynaldo Donor, chief of the Makilala Police, on October 17.

Included in the complaint sheet were statements of three of the relatives of the victims of the Makilala bombing and a cartographic sketch of Kumander Kule Mamagong, suspected leader of the Abu Sofia Group, who, according to intelligence operatives, has links with the MILF.

According to a witness, Kumander Kule was the one who left the improvised explosive device at the store of Ling-ling Tajan-Tajan, one of those killed in the blast. A cartographer’s sketch indicates that Kumander Kule is around 20 years old, has heavy body built, has fair complexion, about 5’2” tall, square-faced, and speaks Maguindanaon.

Kidapawan City Prosecutor Al Calica said he will start the assessment of the complaint next week.

MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu said he was certain the charges would be dropped against Murad “because there is no evidence, whatsoever, that would prove that our chair has plotted and planned the bombings.”

Police and military reports claimed that the bombs were manufactured in one of the satellite bases of the MILF in the boundary towns of Carmen, Magpet, President Roxas, and Arakan in North Cotabato.

Camp Usman in Carmen town is reportedly led by MILF Commander Kineg, chairman of the Capalawan Provincial Committee of the MILF. “But we don’t manufacture bombs there in Camp Usman. That report is a big lie,” said Kabalu.   (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)