3 Davao blast suspects arrested

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/07 October) — Three suspects in the September 2 bombing in Davao City were presented Friday in Manila by the Department of National Defense.

The suspects, said to be members of the so-called Maute group, were identified as TJ Tagadaya Macabalang, Wendell Facturan, and Musalli Mustapha. They were nabbed in a checkpoint on October 4 in Cotabato City.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the suspects “have direct participation in the September 2 Davao night market bombing” that killed 15 people and injured 70 others.

He said recovered from the suspects were bomb-making materials, a machine gun, caliber .45 pistol, cellular phones, and a video recording of the actual bombing on September 2.

He said the bombing was meant to divert military operations against the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu and to avenge heavy casualties of the Maute group in Butig, Lanao del Sur and the capture of some of its members in the province on August 22.

Lorenzana said they now consider the Davao bombing case closed.

On Friday too, police raided the house of Macabalang’s father, Teng Macabalang, in Cotabato City and reportedly seized materials for the assembly of two high-powered explosives, several firearms and ammunition. (See related story)

The younger Macabalang and Facturan were reported abducted last October 4 by armed masked men while meeting a client for a motorcycle deal on Gov. Gutierrez Avenue in Cotabato City.

They were not heard of until their presentation Friday in Manila. (MindaNews)