Manila police nab 3 suspects in Quiapo blast

Rambo Talabong
Manila police nab 3 suspects in Quiapo blast
Halid Macatanong, who is suspected of setting off the second bomb in Quiapo on May 6, is arrested in Subic Freeport in Zambales

MANILA, Philippines — Manila police have arrested 3 suspects in the May 6 blast in Quiapo.

According to the report of Manila Police District (MPD) chief Joel Coronel, Manila police arrested Halid Macatanong, Amir Shahzad, and Joanne Palmiano at Khan Corporation in Subic Technopark in Zambales on Tuesday, May 30.

Police alleged that Macatanong placed an explosive device on the canopy of Diamond Lodge on May 5, and set it to explode the next day. 

Shahzad – the owner of Khan Corporation where Macatanong was found hiding – was accused of colluding with Macatanong.  Palmiano is Shahzad’s secretary.

There were two blasts in Quiapo on May 6, the first at around 6 pm, after a delivery man handed over a package to a certain Mohamad Bainga, an aide of supposed target Nasser Abinal, a Shiite Muslim cleric, who was not there at the time. The delivery man and the aide were killed on the spot.

The second explosion allegedly involving Macatanong took place two hours later, injuring police who were investigating the scene.

Rappler tried to contact Coronel but he had yet to respond as of posting.

The MPD earlier caught one of 4 suspects in the April 28 Quiapo blast that injured at least 14 people.

With the arrest of the 3 suspects on Tuesday, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada assured Manila residents that the MPD is well-equipped to handle terror attacks and lauded Coronel as a “hands-on” MPD director. (READ: Manila police ordered to double security around Malacañang)

Metro Manila police are on full alert following the clashes in  Marawi City between government forces and the Maute terror group, which prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao. – Rappler.com

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.