Images of Cotabato blast suspects out; BIFF charged for separate attack

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/15 August)—Police authorities here released Wednesday the computer-generated photographs of three suspects in the August 5 bombing that killed eight persons and wounded 30 others.

Senior Supt. Rolen Balquin, city police director, asked the public to help the police track down and arrest the still unidentified suspects now that their images are out.

Balquin said the police created Task Force Sayadi to investigate and crack the case.

The car bomb had exploded just as the convoy of city administrator Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi, sister of Mayor Japal Guiani Jr., passed by the busy Sinsuat Avenue. Sayadi, who was on board a bullet-proof vehicle, was unhurt in the incident.

Citing the account of one of the witnesses, Balquin said that the three suspects were seen at the scene before and after the blast, with one of them allegedly triggering the explosion using a cellular phone.

An undisclosed bounty will be given to those that can provide information leading to the arrest of the suspects.

The release of the suspects’ photographs came even as authorities are still reviewing the footages caught by a closed-circuit television camera.

In a press conference after the City Peace and Order Council meeting Wednesday, Mayor Guiani reiterated that “powerful individuals were behind the bomb attack.”

Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has filed multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder charges against members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Records obtained by MindaNews showed the cases were slapped against BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama and 20 other group members for the attack on a convoy of the 12th Mechanized Company in Barangay Nabundas Road in Shariff Saydona Mustapha town in Maguindanao last August 7.

Seven soldiers were wounded in the roadside explosion.

The charges were filed before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office last August 12.

Mama had admitted in media interviews that they were behind the attack on the military convoy. However, he clarified that “they did not use improvised bombs but rocket propelled grenades and mortars.” (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)