MANILA, Philippines – Criminal charges have been filed against eight suspects in the bombing of a passenger bus in North Cotabato on January 27, 2021, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.
In a statement issued Sunday, PNP chief General DeboIld Sinas said murder and frustrated murder charges have been lodged against the suspects who were identified as members of the Al Khobar Group.
The charges were filed before the North Cotabato Provincial Prosecutor Office by the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), he added.
Named as respondents in the case are Salahudin Hassa, Lutre Aman, Tasly Saligan, Norodrin Haman, Datu Ali Camsa, Sandali Sindatok, Jordan Kamad, and Tahir Abubakar, all residents of Datu Paglas, Maguindanao and members of Dawlah Islamiya- Hassan Group.
The Al Khobar Group, is an organized crime group formed out of a dismantled group of operating under the Special Operations Group of MILF in the early 2000s and were responsible for extortion and bombing activities in Central Mindanao, the PNP said.
“We have on-going police operations to scour the areas in Mindanao in pursuit of this terrorist group” Sinas said.
The explosion incident in Cotabato occurred when a unit of Yellow Bus Lines was about to drop a passenger at the National Highway, near an abandoned ticket booth along Barangay Sibsib.
The incident killed one person and injured two others.
In the post-blast investigation by the Team EOD of Cotabato on January 28, 2021, it was concluded that the explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device, which was designed as a radio-controlled improvised explosive device intended to function thru wireless command detonation.