BARMM police says 2 suspects in Marawi blast are MSU ‘residents’
MANILA, Philippines — The two suspects in the deadly bomb attack at Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City last December 3 have secured a safehouse inside the university’s compound and have lived there for a while, a police official said on Thursday.
Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) police office director Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza said unlike typical universities, MSU has no fence and covers almost 1,000 hectares of land.
“Yung dalawa pong ‘yon tumira sila dyan sa Barangay Sikap sa loob ng MSU ginawa nilang safehouse yun. Pero hindi sila graduate ng MSU,” Nobleza told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview.
(The two of them resided in Barangay Sikap within the grounds of MSU. They created a safehouse there, but they are not graduates of MSU.)
“Ang nasasakupan kasi ng MSU seven barangays almost 1,000 hectares hindi siya enclosed or fenced kaya yung tao nakakalabas pasok lang,” he further clarified.
(MSU covers seven barangays or almost 1,000 hectares of land, but it is not enclosed or fenced, so people easily enter the area.)
Although Nobleza did not specify how far the suspects’ residence is from MSU’s Ali Dimaporo gym, a quick search in Google Maps showed that the barangay’s Sikap Elementary School is just about 600 meters or an eight-minute walk from the gym.
Earlier, Philippine National Police spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo identified the suspects as Kadapi Mimbesa, alias “Engineer,” and Arsani Membisa, who have three aliases “Lapitos,” “Khatab,” and “Hatab.”
Citing police records, Fajardo reported that both suspects – who are reportedly members of the Maute group under the Daulah Islamiyah – were involved in previous bombing incidents and had pending warrants of arrest.