Bukidnon bus bomb suspect also tagged in 2006 Kabacan blast

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/12 December) – Multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder charges were filed Thursday against an escapee for Tuesday’s bus bombing outside Central Mindanao University in Maramag, Bukidnon that killed 10 people and wounded 42 others, police said.

Jiselle Lou Longakit, Bukidnon police spokesperson, said that in a press briefing Thursday, police provincial director Supt. Glenn dela Torre named the suspect as Macmod Manibpil, an escapee who is also a suspect in the 2006 bombing in Kabacan, North Cotabato.

Longakit said a sketch based on the testimony of two witnesses matched the photo of Manibpil in the police gallery.
“He was arrested and jailed in Kidapawan City Jail where he escaped,” Longakit said.

She added the suspect is a member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. The BIFF has denied involvement in the bombing.

Longakit said the police are looking into three possible motives for the bombing: extortion, business rivalry, and “furtherance of their (BIFF) cause.”

She said the third motive could be linked to the failure of the Nov. 6 bombing, which injured four people but killed no one. The earlier bombing occurred in Dologon, a kilometer away from CMU.

Police said the suspect in the Nov. 6 bombing is also a BIFF member identified as Dawtin Gendang, who has been charged for violating the anti-terrorism law qualified by multiple frustrated murder.

Both Gendang ang Manibpil are still at large.

Longakit, however, admitted they have yet to establish that the two bombings were related.

Hansel Echavez, head of the Provincial Public Affairs, Information and Assistance office, said Bukidnon Gov. Jose. Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. was yet to give a statement on the identification of the suspect.

Leo Aribal, public information officer of CMU said they will wait for the official copy of the investigation report before issuing any statement. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)