The suspect, identified as Commander Blah Platon alias Dema Atol Guilal, believed to be a trained demolition or bomb expert, was arrested in his safe house along the national highway in Barangay San Pablo in Tacurong City, some two hours travel east of this city, around 4:35 a.m., Monday.
Sr. Supt. Willie Dangane, chief of the Regional Intelligence and Investigation Division (RIID) of the Police Regional Office (PRO) No. 12 based in General Santos City, said Platon has long been wanted for a series of kidnapping for ransom cases in Cotabato City and Maguindanao.
A warrant of arrest was issued years ago by Judge Bansawan Ibrahim of the Regional Trial Court Branch 13 in Cotabato City for kidnapping with ransom with serious illegal detention under Criminal Case Number 2411.
Platon’s arrest carries a reward of P175,000 based on Memorandum Circular 2003-39 issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Dangane quoted intelligence reports as saying Platon is a trained bomber of the Jemaah Islamiyah, an Indonesia-based group, and that he is under the group of Zabide Abdul, also known as Beds.
Dangane said Platon is a top official of the Special Operations Group of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) under the 107th brigade based in Sultan Kudarat, Dangane said.
MILF spokesperson Eid Kabalu said they are checking into these reports “but it appears that he is not a member (of the MILF).”
“Platon and Beds were believed to be behind the recent series of bombings in the region. In fact, they were included in the more than 20 suspects charged with multiple murder, with multiple frustrated murder, in connection with the Oct 10 bombings in Tacurong City and Makilala, North Cotabato,” Dangane said.