Pikit town bombers have ties with BIFF, Marwan—military

Jan. 30, 2015

DAVAO CITY — A military spokesperson on Thursday said that the two alleged couriers of the bomb that went off prematurely killing them in Pikit town, North Cotabato have close ties with Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter.

Captain Joan Petinglay, spokesperson of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said that one of them, identified as Asrap Muhamad, was a member of the BIFF.

“As of the moment, we are still establishing his link with the Malaysian bomb maker Zulkifli Abd Hir alias Marwan but there is a big possibility that he has links with Marwan,” said Petinglay.

On Wednesday, the Philippine National Police stationed in Pikit town has created a Task Force to investigate the Tuesday’s failed bombing plot.

Police said that both Jomar Palaguyan, 27, and Muhamad, 28, were residents of Barangay Balatikan and were allegedly recruited by Marwan and Basit Usman, one of the other target of the botched operation of the police elite forces.

“They are recruits of Marwan and Usman,” said Police Senior Inspector Sindatu Karim, chief of Pikit-PNP, in a radio interview.

Karim said that the explosive was crafted from a 60 millimeter mortar but Petinglay said the Army has not seen “any UXO [unexploded ordinance]”.

North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, has urged her constituents “to remain calm but be more vigilant and immediately report to the authorities all suspicious-looking individuals or items.”

“Your government and law enforcers are doing their best to secure peace and bring to justice all perpetrators,” she stressed.

Tuesday’s explosion was the third time to happen this year in Pikit town, North Cotabato. It came two days after 44 members of the police Special Action Force were killed in battle with Moro rebels in Mamapasano town in Maguindanao last Sunday. (davaotoday.com)

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