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UNTV EXCLUSIVE: PNP discloses components of IED used in Isulan blast

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, August 31st, 2018

The components used in building the IED that rocked the town of Isulan in Sultan Kudarat on August 28, 2018 | PRO 12

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has deployed bomb experts to Isulan, Sultan Kudarat to examine the components of the improvised explosive device (IED) recovered from the blast site.

PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde said the team of experts is expected to help the authorities identify the group behind the explosion on Tuesday night (August 28) that horrified the community and killed three civilians.

Based on the images acquired by UNTV, the suspects in the blast used a cellular phone as a triggering device. Its power source was a 9 volts battery and the body or the container was formed using a barrel of a water pump.

Initial reports suggested that the power source and the triggering device in the Isulan blast were similar to those recovered in the botched explosion at Unitop Koronadal on August 18 during the celebration of the Koronadal International Folklore Festival.

A similar water pump was also used in the IED recovered in the failed explosion at the camp of the Philippine Army 33rd Infantry Batallion in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao in July.

Given the characteristics of the IED components, Albayalde ordered bomb experts to identify if the persons behind the Isulan blast were the same persons who planted the IEDs in the previous bombing attempts.

Since the explosion on Tuesday, speculations about several groups masterminding the blast surfaced, implicating the Abu Sayyaf Group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), or the Dawla Islamiya Abu Turaife Group.

“Iyong bomb data center pinapunta natin doon to collate yun para makita kung ano talaga itong signature, kung saan galing or kung sino may gawa nitong IED na ito,” Albayalde said.

Reports, however, surfaced that the explosion in Isulan was claimed by the international terror group ISIS.

Meanwhile, Albayalde admits that the authorities in Mindanao did not expect the explosion to happen despite heightened security measures being imposed in the region. In fact, 260 security personnel were deployed to man the celebration of the Humangaya Festival.

“Nung nakita na suspicious nung nakita na sinisipa or inuusog yung bag sa ilalim  ng motorsiklo hinabol na itong taong ito but then lumalabas na meron pa syang kasama na rider na nagmamaneho doon sa isang motorsiklo sa may kanto ng may Honda so doon 
sila nakatakbo at hindi nahabol ng CAFGU at sumabog na from there yung IED,” the PNP Chief explained.

During a closed-door meeting with members of Police Regional Office 12 in Isulan, a facial composite sketch of the suspect was presented to Albayalde. The description shows a medium built male suspect of 5’6 to 5’7” in height.  He was wearing a black shirt and dark colored pants with a black backpack, based on the accounts of the three witnesses. — Lea Ylagan / Marje Pelayo

 

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Gunman’s firearm matches bullet shells in Batocabe twin slay – PNP

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, January 7th, 2019

Mugshots of suspects in Batocabe slay case

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) is confident of having a strong case against the suspects in the killing of Ako Bicol Party list Rep. Rodel Batocabe and SPO1 Rolando Diaz.

Based on the results of the ballistic exam conducted by the PNP Crime Laboratory, Police Chief DG Oscar Albayalde revealed that the bullet slugs and shells found at the crime scene matched with the Norinco caliber .40 pistol registered under one of the suspects, Henry Yuson.

“Iyong 11 shells na 50 at 5 slugs ay nag-match doon sa license firearms ni Yuson na sinabi niya na ginamit niya doon sa crime scene. So nag-positive iyan. Nag-match according to the finding of the Crime Lab. That will now boost our case,” the PNP Chief said,

Yuson, in his affidavit, admitted to using his own licensed firearm when the caliber .45 pistol which they bought for the assassination, jammed.

According to PNP records, the registration of Yuson’s Norinco caliber .40 has been expired since 2015.

He also admitted in his affidavit that after Batocabe, he then shot at the lawmaker’s police escort SPO1 Diaz.

Yuson said he also sustained gunshot wounds to the arm and to the side as somebody from the lawmaker’s end exchanged fire with them but he couldn’t verify who.

Albayalde said, they will continue with the investigation even after six of the suspects surrendered to check if there are other individuals involved in the crime.

“Hindi namin isinasara ang imbestigasyon dito. In fact, meron din tayong tinitingnan kung bakit nasa Masbate itong dalawa. Kung sino ang kumukopkop sa kanya. Puwedeng sibilyan, puwedeng politician. These are all part of our investigation kaya open ang investigation namin dito,” the PNP Chief concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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PNP takes custody of two suspects-turned-witnesses in Batocabe slay

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

Batocabe murder crime scene | Photo courtesy of Daraga MPS

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Two suspects in the killing of Ako Bicol Party list representative Rodel Batocabe have surrendered and are now under the custody of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The two suspects were turned into witnesses for the information they know about the crime and according to Pnp Spokesperson PCSupt. Benigno Durana Jr., they are now being investigated.

“Ini-interview sila ngayon. Let’s see if out of these witnesses we can get suspects. Ongoing ang investigation,” Durana confirmed.

Durana said the testimony of the witnesses will help the authorities identify the rest of the suspects and hopefully the mastermind behind the crime.

“Their testimonies can shed light into the case and that it may or may not give us a positive lead that will lead us to the perpetrators including the mastermind,” Durana said.

A source told UNTV that the two suspects-turned-witnesses were former soldiers.

One of them was involved in the planning of Batocabe’s assassination while the other one was responsible for scouting potential gunmen.

According to the source, the two witnesses identified an Albay politician as the mastermind in the crime and the one who provided cash and motorcycles as getaway vehicles for the suspects.

They added that the politician’s personal driver was among those who helped the gunmen escape.

The two witnesses also revealed that said politician-mastermind offered P3 million pesos to the suspects to execute the killing of Cong. Batocabe.

Until now, they said, the mastermind has not yet paid them.

The two suspects-turned-witnesses surrendered as they wanted the P50 million pesos reward money.

Their decision was also out of fear for their safety.

The PNP and the Batocabe family, meanwhile, are set to file formal charges of murder and frustrated murder against the remaining six to eight suspects linked to the assassination of Rep. Batocabe. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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PNP remains clueless on suspects in the Cotabato bombing

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

 

 

 

 

FILE PHOTO: PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) remains blank as to the suspects in the bombing in South Seas Mall in Cotabato City on Monday (December 31).

Two people died and 34 others injured in the blast that happened in broad daylight when shoppers were busy ahead of the new year celebration.

According to PRO-12 Spokesperson PSupt. Aldrin Gonzales, the Special Investigation Task Group is still ongoing with its investigation on the incident, though the process has been difficult as no one or no group has admitted the incident as of today.

“Ongoing pa po ang investigation na ginagawa ng SITG at iintayin natin ang official findings nila,” Gonzales said.

Nevertheless, the PNP is currently examining the videos captured on CCTV in the area and the testimonies of the witnesses.

Gonzales, meanwhile, confirmed that the PNP-12 Explosive and Ordnance Division is verifying the signature imprinted into the improvised explosive device (IED) used in the incident.

“Andon pa sa EOD ang mag shrapnel at ibang sangkap ng IED na pumutok at sinusuri pa nila and hopefully this following day ay mailabas na ng IED kung anong signature at doon din tayo makapag conclude kung anong grupo ang nasa likod nito,” Gonzales added.

It can be recalled that in August, authorities matched the signature imprinted on the IED used in the Isulan bombing with the one recovered in the botched attack in Koronadal in Region 12.

The IEDs were detonated using a cellular phone as triggering device and the powers source was identified to be a 9 volts battery. The container of both IEDs were also similar, a water pump barrel or a jetmatic.

Gonzales also confirmed that the 34 wounded in the blast are now recovering in the hospital. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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