2 DAVAO BOMBING SUSPECTS NABBED

Zamboanga City, April 9, 2003  The military has confirmed the arrest of two 
suspects in the bombings at the terminal of the Davao international airport 
and Sasa wharf in Davao city. Investigators, however, are clueless on the 
identity of the group behind the bombings. The arrests were announced 
yesterday in Manila by President Gloria Arroyo.

President Arroyo, during the change of command ceremonies in Camp 
Aguinaldo, identified the arrested suspects in the Davao Wharf bombing as 
Tuhame Urong and a certain Toto.

They were arrested by joint police and military forces at around 7:30 a.m. 
in Cotabato City.

Arroyo said Toto planted the bomb at the wharf and helped Urong in the 
airport bombing.

"Congratulations to the AFP and the PNP. What a good welcome present for 
our new AFP chief of staff," said Arroyo, referring to General Narciso 
Abaya, who took over from Gen. Dionisio Santiago.

Abaya said that the two are Filipinos.

Arroyo confirmed some Indonesians are being monitored following suspicions 
that they are involved in terrorist activities in Mindanao.

Abaya said some Indonesian terrorists have been sighted in Mindanao.

At least 17 persons were killed in the Sasa incident last April 2. 
Twenty-two persons were killed in the airport terminal incident last March 4.

Initial investigation showed at least five Indonesians, believed to be 
members of the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist group, could be involved in the 
Sasa bombing.

In Jakarta, Zainuri Lubis, police spokesman, said Indonesian authorities 
were awaiting word from Manila.

"Up until now, the Philippine police have not given any official 
information. If they're sure Indonesians are the perpetrators, surely they 
will inform the (Indonesian liaisons of) Interpol," he told Reuters.

"Without those names, we can't do anything. The Philippines need to 
identify the perpetrators first, then we'll have coordination," Zainuri said.

PNP chief Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. said that based on their interrogation, 
Toto is a company commander of the MILF.

He said they are also investigating if a third group is behind the bombings 
and if the two suspects belong to this group.

Lt. Col. Daniel Lucero, Southern Command spokesman, said five MILF rebels 
were captured in two villages in Cotabato City. The rebels were identified 
as Ismael Akmad, Tobi Bagundang, Ismael Osok, Teng Quidar and Jimmy 
Baloghog. They reportedly are members of the MILF's Special Operations 
Group, which specializes in terrorism. (Al Jacinto PHNO Mindanao Bureau)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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