Davao bombing suspects deny allegations
The suspects in the Sept. 2 bombing of a night market in Davao City, which killed 15 people and hurt 70 others, have denied the allegations against them.
During Wednesday’s preliminary investigation, respondents TJ Tagadaya Macabalang, Wendel Apostol Facturan and Musali Mustapha, through their counsel Maria Elisa Jonalyn Barquez, denied that they were arrested on board a motorcycle with no license plate at a mobile checkpoint by joint elements of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police on Oct. 4 in Cotabato City.
Barquez said only Macabalang and Mustapha were riding in the same motorcycle when they were arrested while Facturan was arrested in a separate police operation in Cotabato City.
Confiscated from the suspects were various components for improvised explosive devices, a sub-machine gun, a .45-cal. pistol, their motorcycle, and various cellular phones.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has submitted the case for resolution, denying the request of the police to submit a reply to the counter-affidavits of the three suspects.
“It behooves upon you to put everything in your complaint … No follow ups,” Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong said.
Ong also clarified that the resolution they would be releasing was based on the charges for violation of Republic Act No. 9516 for illegal possession of explosives, firearms and ammunition filed by CIDG and AFP and not on charges in relation to the Davao blast.
He said Davao prosecutors were conducting a preliminary investigation into the bombing.
The three suspects were the subject of an inquest proceeding last week after they were presented to the media by the military.
Barquez questioned the lapse of the 36-hour requirement under the law on the conduct of an inquest proceeding.
The military and police opposed citing an arrest warrant issued by the Iligan court for kidnapping for ransom.
Ong said he opted to conduct preliminary investigation because the arrest warrant showed by the police and military did not contain the names of the three suspects.
“It does not bear the names of the accused, [but] only John Does…That is a big no, no for us,” Ong said.
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