Cotabato mayoroffers reward for info on bombers PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 11:41

Cotabato City Mayor Japal Guiani, Jr. on Tuesday dangled a “bounty” in exchange for any information that would lead to the arrest of the culprits behind Monday’s deadly roadside bombing at a busy portion of the Sinsuat Avenue here.

Eight people were killed while 34 others were wounded in the bombing. Only 13 of the injured remained in hospitals. Many of them have been discharged, as outpatients, after treatment of their superficial wounds.

Two of the eight fatalities were children, nine-year-old Jeddin Menak, 9, and Nasrudin Guialel, 14, according to investigators.

Guiani said investigators must not leave any stone unturned in their quest for building air-tight criminal cases against the bombers, whose arrests he wants hastened with his bounty offer.

“I will not reveal how much money will I pay as bounty, but I can discuss it to potential witnesses and informants in my office,” an apparently irked Guiani told reporters.

Guiani, presiding chairman of the city peace and order council, said he is convinced that either he, or his sister, was the target of the roadside bombing.

“We received information purporting there are threats on our lives one week before the incident,” Guiani said.

Guiani said the bomb-laden vehicle parked in front of the Villa Funeral Home along Sinsuat Avenue was apparently set off while a convoy, led by her sister, City Administrator Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi, was passing by.

Investigators said it was the mayor’s sister who was riding his dark Blue bulletproof Chevrolet Suburban that was less than ten meters away from where the car bomb went off.

“It was just fortunate that there were vehicles ahead,” Guiai said.

The explosion triggered a fire that destroyed the Mitsubishi Strada pick-up truck and a mini dump truck ahead of the mayor’s sports utility vehicle.

Guiani said he is ready to shell out a reward in exchange for any information that would lead to the arrest of the bombers.

Senior Supt. Rolen Balquin, director of the Cotabato City police, said scene of crime operatives and combined police and Army bomb experts are still sifting through the scene to determine what kind of explosives were used in the attack.

Balquin said they are now looking into the possibility that it was either the mayor or her sister who could be the potential targets of the bombing.

“Considering there were threats on their lives, we need to look into that angle, without discounting all other possible angles,” Balquin said.

Two motorcycle-riding security escorts of the mayor’s sister, Samsudin Hari, and Yusoph Gadji, were killed in the explosion.

A passerby, SPO4 Mama Manambuay, was declared dead on arrival at the nearby Cotabato Regional Medical Center (CRMC).

Balquin said four were killed on the spot, while four more died in the nearby Cotabato Regional Medical Center — the two children and adults Harris Unto and Salipudin Sindatuk.

Among the more than 30 people injured in the blast is a police officer, Chief Inspector Abubakar Mangelen, Jr., of an intelligence unit in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao police, and a member of a local Special Weapons and Tactics unit, SPO1 Eduardo Malikden.