INDONESIANS HUNTED FOR DAVAO BOMBINGSDavao City, April 8, 2003 Policemen are hunting down five Indonesian terrorists who are believed to be behind the bombings at the Davao International Airport and the Sasa Wharf. National Police intelligence confirmed Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte's disclosure that the Southeast Asia-based international terrorist group Jama'ah Islamiyah was behind the bombing of Sasa Wharf in Davao City last week that left 16 people dead and more than 100 injured. Chief Supt. Robert Delfin, head of the Directorate for Intelligence, said the National Police are on the trail of five Indonesians said to be connected to the Jama'ah Islamiyah and who are believed to be involved in the bombing. The five Indonesians were identified as Sulaiman, Sulkifli, Nasruddin, Hajii Akhmad and Harmia. The Armed Forces, meanwhile, described Duterte's claim as credible because the mayor has information accessible to him, being the crisis manager in the province. Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Garcia, Armed Forces vice chief of staff and concurrent military spokesman, also said that Duterte has a strong basis for saying that the special unit of the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) had connived with the Jama'ah Islamiyah in carrying out the bombing. "Mayor Duterte would probably have information that is accessible to him, being the crisis manager there; and being the Davao City mayor, who is taking the lead in harnessing efforts of our investigative agencies in the area to be able to pinpoint responsibility for the recent bombing in Sasa Wharf," said Garcia. Meanwhile, Delfin said the head of Task Force Sasa, Senior Supt. Isidro la Peņa, has the same information as that of Duterte. La Peņa is also the Southern Mindanao police commander. "The special MILF unit may be involved in both bombings, but the more recent [information] seems to indicate Mayor Duterte pointing to Indonesian members of JI, based on [material gathered by] intelligence committee," said Delfin. Delfin said his office believes that the five Indonesians are still in Mindanao. Duterte earlier said that members of the Jama'ah Islamiyah has connived with the members of MILF special urban terrorist action group or SUTAG. Authorities revealed that SUTAG has been involved in at least 20 bombings in Mindanao this year. Duterte has also warned that the Indonesian terrorists have allegedly linked up with their local counterparts and are now "working overtime" to carry out more bombing missions.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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