DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Police authorities have arrested the suspect in the bombing incident that killed a student and wounded at least 16 others in Kabacan town in North Cotabato on November 16.
North Cotabato Provincial Police chief Senior Superintendent Danilo Peralta said Badrudin Abid, a resident of Barangay Poblacion, Kabacan, was arrested at a checkpoint in President Quirino town in Sultan Kudarat at around 3 pm on Tuesday, November 25.
Two of Abid's companions evaded arrest in a separate operation conducted by North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat police.
Peralta said an informant had positively identified Abid as the one who had allegedly used a 60mm mortar round in the improvised explosive device (IED) detonated at a pedestrian overpass in front of Kabacan Pilot Elementary School on November 16.
Abid was charged with murder for the death of student Monique Montawil, and multiple frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder.
Police said Abid has standing arrest warrants for carnapping and robbery with violence.
The North Cotabato provincial government and the Kabacan municipal government had earlier offered a P200,000 ($4,450*)-reward for information leading to the arrest of those behind the blast.
On Sunday, another bomb blast in Pikit town killed 3 people and wounded 24 more.
North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza said the acts are meant to "sabotage" peace and development efforts in the province.
"It is downright disappointing to see innocent lives affected by this cowardly act. This is insane….The government invested so much resources and developmental programs to bring peace and order in North Cotabato. Unfortunately, there are those who want to sabotage all our sincere efforts," Mendoza said.
The military suspects the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters of staging the bombings but BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama denied the allegations, saying they only target military units and installations.
North Cotabato police are coordinating with the military on a deeper background check on Abid, as police records do not link him to any armed group. – Rappler.com
*$1 = P44.9