Don’t blame Muslims on Davao bombing – MNLF

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 Nov) – A leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) appealed not to put the blame on Muslims the bombing incident in Davao City Wednesday that injured the driver’s aide of the Toyota Hi-Ace commercial van.

Task Force Davao personnel inspect vehicles passing through the Sirawan checkpoint in Toril District, Davao City on Wednesday following the bombing of a passenger van. MindaNews photo by Toto Lozano

In an interview , MNLF acting vice chair Rolando Abdul-Aziz Olamit told reporters that some people might again drag the Muslims in the issue, most especially that the vehicle came from Pikit, North Cotabato.

But he said that the MNLF group is doing all it can to determine the identities of the perpetrators who were behind the explosion that took place after the driver and his aide left the SM van terminal as they headed towards the Times Beach area to eat breakfast.

Huwag nyo naman sabihin na Muslim ang nag-trabaho nyan (Don’t say that Muslims were behind it),” Olamit said.

“The MNLF in the city is monitoring and gathering information, even closely guarding the communities to determine the perpetrators,” he said.

Olamit said they are also gathering information from other MNLF camps to identify which groups are going in and out of Mindanao and who among these are members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria (ISIS) who may have infiltrated the island.

He blamed the entry of the ISIS group in Mindanao to the current and previous administrations for failing to implement the Tripoli Agreement of 1976 that would have addressed the conflict in Mindanao.

“The government is the author of the ‘divide and rule’,” Olamit said.

He said there are still three remaining unfulfilled agreements – territory, provisionary government, and revenue sharing of natural resources.

The vehicle that was bombed by still unidentified perpetrators was driven German Daag. His injured aide, Tatat Besanez, was brought to Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) after sustaining minor injuries.

A staff of the van terminal, who refused to be named for lack of authority to speak on the incident, told reporters that there were two passengers who disembarked just outside the SM van terminal and two more got off in the terminal.

According to her, one of the passengers left a blue bag that contained the bomb. The aide tried to surrender the bag to the management for safekeeping but this was not allowed as a company policy, so the two brought the bag as they left the terminal premises, she said.