DAVAO CITY, Philippines — A witness positively identified one of the three suspects presented earlier by the military to be the culprit of the Sept. 2 Davao night market bombing incident.

In a news conference, Davao Chief Police Senior Superintendent Valeriano de Leon of the Special Investigating Task Group said TJ Tagadaya Makabalang was considered to be a person of interest before his arrest Friday, Oct. 7, at Cotabato City by combined forces of Army’s Intelligence Security Group and police authorities.

Makabalang and two other suspects namely Wendel Facturan and Musali Mustapha were tagged by authorities as members of Maute Group, an Islamist militant group linked to terrorist organizations.

“One of the witnesses identified Makabalang as the trigger man which was presented by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana to the media,” he said.

De Leon has attributed the successful arrest of the suspects to the “coordination of the military and police authorities” which helped to fast track the investigation conducted by the SITG.

“We still have to wait for the final report of the arresting officers and then whatever evidence they have, we will consolidate it as the role of SITG for the appreciation of the prosecutors,” he said.

Case closed, but…

De Leon said that upon validation of the three alleged suspects, the case would be raised to the prosecutor office.

He said that while they considered the case closed, “(w)e have to go a little bit farther since we have the bomber already and we want to know if there are still other people or group who are behind the bombing aside from them.”

“We have to assert certain circumstances and personalities behind the blast,” he added. (davaotoday.com)

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