'GENERAL' AND COHORTS IN NAIA BOMBING ATTEMPT CHARGED 

SEPT 4 --PHOTO: Alleged bomb plot leader Grandeur Pepito Guerrero is escorted by NBI agents for inquest proceedings at the DOJ yesterday. Right photo shows the homemade incendiary devices – powerful firecrackers with plastic bottles containing gasoline – seized from the suspects. - A self-proclaimed “general” of “USAFFE” and two others have been linked to Monday’s foiled attempt to smuggle improvised explosives into the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), officials said yesterday. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Grandeur Pepito Guerrero, Emmanuel San Pedro and Sonny Yohanon have been charged for illegal possession of explosives following their alleged plot to bomb four targets, including the Chinese embassy, to demonstrate their anger against China. Guerrero, alias Jojo, is the alleged leader of the group. He claimed to be a general of USAFFE, the acronym of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East during World War II. De Lima said the three suspects were not charged for terrorism under Republic Act No. 10168 or the Human Security Act since investigators have yet to establish their real motive. Found in their possession were four improvised incendiary devices (IID) and a .38 caliber revolver. The three were arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) following a tip off that they were about to plant an explosive at the NAIA. The NBI said the group was also planning to plant explosives in establishments owned by Chinese. *READ MORE...

ALSO: Pseudo-group behind foiled NAIA bombing  

SEPT 4 --Pamatong, who linked Trillanes to aborted airport blast, arrested. PHOTO:DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR Three members of an ultra-rightist group called “Usaffe” are presented on Tuesday by the National Bureau of Investigation during inquest proceedings at the Department of Justice in Manila. Several incendiary bombs were recovered from the suspects who were arrested at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. NBI Director Virgilio Mendez identified the suspects as Grandeur Pepito Gacutan Guerrero (right), Emmanuel Valencia San Pedro and Sonny Albes Yohanon. JOAN BONDOC

The National Security Council (NSC) yesterday said that a group calling itself the “USAFFE” was behind the aborted attempt to blow up the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA). Late yesterday afternoon, disqualified presidential candidate Ely Pamatong, who is linked to USAFFE, was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). However, his arrest was not in connection with the foiled bombing but over the 2004 EDSA “spike attack.” NSC Director General Cesar P. Garcia implicated the USAFFE to the foiled NAIA bombing when he appeared before the Senate Finance Committee to press for the approval of his agency’s proposed P95.3-million budget for 2015. “This group belongs to a generic body which the intelligence community classified as a dubious organization, a fake guerilla organization, a dubious anti-communist organization, a pseudo-organization, and the like,” Garcia said.

NBI Director Virgilio Mendez said Pamatong, who flew to Manila from Cagayan de Oro City on-board PAL Express flight 2P 2526, was nabbed upon his arrival at the NAIA Terminal 2 at 5:40 p.m. yesterday. Pamatong had earlier implicated Trillanes in the aborted attempt to bomb NAIA, an allegation the senator vehemently denied. Mendez said Pamatong was arrested based on a warrant of arrest issued by Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 33 Judge Joel Socrates Lopena in October last year for malicious mischief in connection with the 2004 “spike attack” along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue that his group perpetrated. Aside from malicious mischief, Pamatong has a standing warrant of arrests for inciting to sedition, also for the spike attack, and illegal possession of firearms in Laguna. The three crimes are bailable offenses. Pamatong will be taken to the NBI headquarters where they plan to interrogate him in connection with the foiled “attack” on certain establishments in Metro Manila.  *READ MORE...

ALSO: Group behind Naia bomb try dismayed at gov’t moves vs China – NBI 

SEPT 1 --The group behind the attempt to blast a car inside the Ninoy Aquino Internal Airport
(NAIA) is dismayed at the government’s moves against China conflict in the Spratly Islands, sources from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said Monday. Sources said aside from the explosive device, the NBI was able to obtain a manifesto showing the group’s other targets – SM Mall of Asia, DMCI main office, Chinese Embassy and other Chinese operated establishments. DMCI was earlier subjected to an investigation for allegedly employing undocumented Chinese nationals in Calaca power plant. One of the arrested suspects said the group’s plan was not to bomb Naia but Chinese operated offices. The sources said the part of the group’s plan was to plant an improvised bomb inside the toilet of SM MOA, which would be padlocked “so no civilian will get hurt.”

The improvised explosive device was mostly made from banned firecrackers such as “Goodbye Philippines” that were wrapped around bottles filled with gasoline. It was placed inside a Toyota Revo with plate number WMK 129. The vehicle was intercepted at around 1 a.m. Monday. IN ANOTHER INQUIRER NEWS REPORT: MANILA, Philippines—Lawyer Ely Pamatong, once declared a nuisance presidential candidate, seems to be back from oblivion. But if he’s working alone, or with some more influential people, is something that authorities are still trying to find out.
Pamatong has been alleged to be behind the foiled attempt to detonate explosives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3, a highly placed intelligence source told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Tuesday.
Pamatong was linked to the four arrested suspects, mainly Grandeur Guerrero, a military reservist.*CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Pamatong arrested over bomb plot  

SEPT 1 --A nuisance candidate disqualified from running for president in 2004, he was arrested after Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said investigators were looking into the possibility he was behind the failed bombings. “I can confirm the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) is looking into the possible involvement of Pamatong,” De Lima told reporters. She said that Pamatong himself admitted he knew the three men arrested on Monday after the NBI found a van with improvised explosives at Manila’s main international airport. The three were reportedly planning a series of attacks against the Chinese embassy and businesses owned by ethnic Chinese tycoons. Shortly after De Lima’s statements, NBI director Virgilio Mendez said that Pamatong had been arrested at the Manila airport upon arrival from Mindanao. He was arrested based on a warrant issued in 2013 over a 2004 incident where Pamatong’s followers scattered spikes on Manila’s main thoroughfare, puncturing the tires of passing vehicles to protest his disqualification as a presidential candidate. Asked if they would use the arrest to question him about the bomb plot, Mendez said it was part of their “investigative intelligence technique”. Pamatong has previously headed a group seeking US statehood for the Philippines and in 2008 filed a suit against Pope Benedict XVI accusing him of human rights violations. He has also taken part in anti-Chinese protests in the past. *READ MORE...

ALSO: Ely Pamatong out on bail  

SEPT 5 --Two days after his arrest, Atty. Ely Pamatong, the alleged mastermind on the foiled attack at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) was temporarily released after posting bail before the Quezon City court. NBI Director Virgilio Mendez, in a phone call Friday confirmed that Pamatong posted a P2,000-bail for malicious mischief and P12,000 for inciting to sedition for scattering metal spikes in EDSA in 2004. “We have no choice but to release him. He is facing a bailable offense,” Mendez said. Pamatong admitted that he is the head of the USA Freedom Fighters of the East (Usaffe), the group that was supposed to set off an improvised incendiary device inside the Naia Terminal 3 early Monday morning. After his release noontime Friday, Pamatong visited the three who were arrested at Naia 3 including Grandeur Guerrero, whom he said is one of his trusted aides. The NBI is still conducting an investigation on the extent of Pamatong’s involvement in the planned attack at the airport and Chinese operated establishments.THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: Bombing suspect Pamatong links Trillanes  

SEPT 4 --But senator says plot meant to divert attention from Makati probe The already bizarre foiled car bombing attempt asclaimed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) turned into a political sideshow after suspect, the eccentric political figure Ely Pamatong, linked Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who once was involved in failed military takeover, to a destabilization plot. Trillanes, however, hit back claiming that the group of Vice President Jejomar Binay was behind the plot “to divert public attention” from the Senate investigation on the allegedly overpriced Makati parking building.

One source, however, pointed to Malacañang as having knowledge of the incident, apparently to divert public attention from the controversy brought about by Malacañang-invented disbursement acceleration program (DAP). “Malacañang is now on survival mode…they’re becoming desperate,” he said. During the hearing on the proposed 2015 budget of the National Security Council (NSC), National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia, however, described as “harmless” the group of Pamatong called United States Allied Freedom Fighters of the East (USAFFE) that the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said was behind the foiled bombing attempt.

Trillanes called Pamatong “crazy” and a “nut-case” for dragging him into the supposedly failed plot to bomb the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia). “You know that’s crazy, that guy is crazy. If we will put value in what he says, we’re crazier than that guy,” Trillanes said. Pamatong said that one of the suspects in the bomb try was framed by the “Magdalo faction” of the military to which the senator belongs. Trillanes claimed that the fact the bombing attempt was uncovered on the day an ocular inspection of the Makati City Hall parking building was held pointed the motive to diverting public attention away from the Senate investigation. Trillanes also accused the Vice President of engaging in diversionary tactic by trying to deflect the issue on the controversial strucuture by having him dragged into the foiled plot to bomb the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Magdalo is the group that was popularized by Trillanes, composed of junior military officers and soldiers, behind the failed mutiny in July 2003 and according to Pamatong, the group is out to frame one of the suspects who is said to be his “chief of staff” in USAFFE. Sen. Nancy Binay was quick in dismissing the latest allegations of her colleague against her family. “What will be (Trillanes’) next accusation against us be? (The Binays) do not have a history of destabilization. I think it is more the forte of Trillanes,” she said in a separate interview with reporters.*READ MORE...

ALSO: Amid foiled terror attempt, AFP denies destabilization plot  

SEPT 3 --There is no destabilization plot despite the reported plan by a group of military reservists to bomb specific targets in Metro Manila, including the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), the Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Wednesday. “There’s no destabilization angle on that report kasi imagine ano lang ‘yun, labintador tapos nilagayan ng gasoline (It’s just a firecracker and gasoline). Anybody can do that so I think that’s really something that (we should really not be bothered about),” General General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., AFP Chief of Staff, told reporters after attending his confirmation hearing at the Senate. Catapang was referring to Monday’s foiled plot to bomb the Naia allegedly by a group protesting China’s occupation of disputed isles in the South China Sea.

He also dismissed as mere “allegation” reports that the same group was planning to bomb SM Mall of Asia, in Pasay and the Chinese Embassy and the headquarters of property developer D.M. Consunji Inc. in Makati City, all Chinese-operated establishments. “Well that’s the allegation but we looked around, sabi may mga threat din sa kampo namin pero negative naman so we didn’t want to put more, bigyan sila ng importansya,” said the military chief. (Well that’s the allegation but we looked around and found out that there were threats in our camp. But we discovered they were “negative” and we just do not want to give them more importance.) Catapang said they would just leave it up to the National Bureau of Investigation to file the appropriate charges against those behind the foiled Naia terror plot.THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

‘General,’ cohorts in NAIA bombing attempt charged


Alleged bomb plot leader Grandeur Pepito Guerrero is escorted by NBI agents for inquest proceedings at the DOJ yesterday. Right photo shows the homemade incendiary devices – powerful firecrackers with plastic bottles containing gasoline – seized from the suspects. EDD GUMBAN/AP

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 8, 2014 (PHILSTAR) POSTED SEPT 4 By Evelyn Macairan -  A self-proclaimed “general” of “USAFFE” and two others have been linked to Monday’s foiled attempt to smuggle improvised explosives into the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), officials said yesterday.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Grandeur Pepito Guerrero, Emmanuel San Pedro and Sonny Yohanon have been charged for illegal possession of explosives following their alleged plot to bomb four targets, including the Chinese embassy, to demonstrate their anger against China.

Guerrero, alias Jojo, is the alleged leader of the group. He claimed to be a general of USAFFE, the acronym of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East during World War II.

De Lima said the three suspects were not charged for terrorism under Republic Act No. 10168 or the Human Security Act since investigators have yet to establish their real motive.

Found in their possession were four improvised incendiary devices (IID) and a .38 caliber revolver.

The three were arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) following a tip off that they were about to plant an explosive at the NAIA.

The NBI said the group was also planning to plant explosives in establishments owned by Chinese.

* Guerrero, who owns the Toyota Revo where the improvised explosive devices were seized at the NAIA 3 parking area, claimed a certain Norberto Barangga borrowed the vehicle from him.

San Pedro and Yohanon, on the other hand, said they were just asked to guard the vehicle but did not know what was inside it.

The three initially denied the charges but later claimed they are “Defenders of the Filipino people” and consider China and the “oligarch taipans” who are engaged in monopolistic business practices and illegal mining in the country as their arch enemies.

De Lima described the three as “misguided elements of our society.”

“Whatever is their purpose, if they are frustrated with the soft stance of the government vis-à-vis Chinese they are using the wrong method. We can say they are misguided elements of society. Whatever is the agenda, the fact is the plan is to create explosions, to cause panic. It cannot be avoided that there would be destabilizations in society, something that we could not afford at this point,” she said.

The three suspects were represented by lawyer Oliver Lozano during the investigation yesterday.

“The charge is baseless and the suspects are innocent,” he said.

Lozano argued the terrorism plot was absurd because if it was the case then it should have been a car bomb or a bazooka and not a rusty revolver.

He added the explosives seized from the suspects were just firecrackers intended for the coming New Year revelry.

Lozano, known as a lawyer and supporter of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, said the three were just fall guys in the reported destabilization plot.

He further claimed the bombing attempt could be part of a grand plan of those supporting the proposal to amend the Constitution and allow President Aquino to run for another term in 2016.

Out of the radar

Malacañang said the group was not exactly “out of the radar” of suspected threats to national security.

“Even if there have been no serious consequences as a result of what has been uncovered, we want to forestall or to impede any future attempt that might threaten the stability and peace and order of our land and communities,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

He said the NBI has background information on the suspects so the authorities were not exactly caught by surprise by the incident.

Coloma said President Aquino ordered a thorough investigation into the bomb attempt and everyone would just have to await its result.

But so far, the incident should not cause undue alarm as the possible dangers that the group could inflict had been thwarted.

“That is why the implications of what happened are being carefully studied,” he said.

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Pseudo-group behind foiled NAIA bombing by Mario B. Casayuran and Leonardo D. Postrado September 4, 2014 MANILA BULLETIN

Pamatong, who linked Trillanes to aborted airport blast, arrested


DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR Three members of an ultra-rightist group called “Usaffe” are presented on Tuesday by the National Bureau of Investigation during inquest proceedings at the Department of Justice in Manila. Several incendiary bombs were recovered from the suspects who were arrested at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. NBI Director Virgilio Mendez identified the suspects as Grandeur Pepito Gacutan Guerrero (right), Emmanuel Valencia San Pedro and Sonny Albes Yohanon. JOAN BONDOC

The National Security Council (NSC) yesterday said that a group calling itself the “USAFFE” was behind the aborted attempt to blow up the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Late yesterday afternoon, disqualified presidential candidate Ely Pamatong, who is linked to USAFFE, was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). However, his arrest was not in connection with the foiled bombing but over the 2004 EDSA “spike attack.”

NSC Director General Cesar P. Garcia implicated the USAFFE to the foiled NAIA bombing when he appeared before the Senate Finance Committee to press for the approval of his agency’s proposed P95.3-million budget for 2015.

“This group belongs to a generic body which the intelligence community classified as a dubious organization, a fake guerilla organization, a dubious anti-communist organization, a pseudo-organization, and the like,” Garcia said.

NBI Director Virgilio Mendez said Pamatong, who flew to Manila from Cagayan de Oro City on-board PAL Express flight 2P 2526, was nabbed upon his arrival at the NAIA Terminal 2 at 5:40 p.m. yesterday.

Pamatong had earlier implicated Trillanes in the aborted attempt to bomb NAIA, an allegation the senator vehemently denied.

Mendez said Pamatong was arrested based on a warrant of arrest issued by Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 33 Judge Joel Socrates Lopena in October last year for malicious mischief in connection with the 2004 “spike attack” along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue that his group perpetrated.

Aside from malicious mischief, Pamatong has a standing warrant of arrests for inciting to sedition, also for the spike attack, and illegal possession of firearms in Laguna. The three crimes are bailable offenses.

Pamatong will be taken to the NBI headquarters where they plan to interrogate him in connection with the foiled “attack” on certain establishments in Metro Manila.

Sec. Leila de Lima earlier confirmed that the NBI is looking into the possibility that Pamatong is involved in the botched “attack” at the NAIA after he publicly admitted links to the three arrested suspects belonging to USAFFE.

TRILLANES DENIES LINKS

* As this developed, Trillanes rejected Pamatong’s claim that he had a hand in the NAIA incident.

Trillanes believes Pamatong’s attempt to implicate him in the failed NAIA bombing was meant to distract the public’s attention from the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s inquiry into the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.

Trillanes said he was certain the foiled NAIA bombing incident was part of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay and his cohorts’ plan to link him to the “terror” plot.

“I think they were meant to be caught to make statements like that,” Trillanes said.

COVER-UP FOR FAILURE

The camp of Vice President Binay just shrugged off Trillanes’ remark.

Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, Binay’s spokesman, said Trillanes “is desperate to cover up his failure to prove anything in his ongoing Senate witch hunt.”

“Vice President Jejomar C. Binay is busy working on things which matter to the Philippine people,” Remulla said in a statement.

“The Vice President finds no need to employ squid tactics to cover up the failures and shortcomings in the investigation, particularly the glaring absence of concrete evidence to back up the allegation of overpricing,” he added.

Remulla maintained that despite two hearings, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee still has not produced any concrete proof of the alleged overpricing of the building.

Meanwhile, United Nationalist Alliance Secretary General and Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco also chided Trillanes for claiming that the bombing attempt at the NAIA was aimed at deflecting public attention from the ongoing probe on the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.

WHO’S DESTABILIZING?

“Pero ang tanong namin, sino ba ang may history mag-plant ng bomba (Our question is, who has the history of planting bombs)?” the UNA official asked.

“Anong next kayang ibibintang naman sa amin? Unang-una wala kaming history of destabilization. I think mas forte ni Sen. Trillanes yun, (I wonder what they’ll accuse us of next? First of all, we have no history of destabilization. I think that’s Sen. Trillanes’ forte),” said Sen. Nancy Binay, the vice president daughter.

She recalled it was Trillanes’ and the Magdalo soldiers who staged a failed mutiny at the Oakwood Premier at the Makati central business district to demand for then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s ouster in 2003.

“It seems that Sen. Trillanes,aside from venting out his frustration on not being a decorated soldier, and is working double time to be an interior decorating senator, now wants to relive his days as a destabilizer and a frustrated bomber,” Tiangco said. (With reports from Hannah L. Torregoza and JC Bello Ruiz)

FROM THE INQUIRER

Group behind Naia bomb try dismayed at gov’t moves vs China – NBI By Tetch Torres-Tupas |INQUIRER.net6:34 pm | Monday, September 1st, 2014


The National Bureau of Investigation. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–The group behind the attempt to blast a car inside the Ninoy Aquino Internal Airport (NAIA) is dismayed at the government’s moves against China conflict in the Spratly Islands, sources from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said Monday.

Sources said aside from the explosive device, the NBI was able to obtain a manifesto showing the group’s other targets – SM Mall of Asia, DMCI main office, Chinese Embassy and other Chinese operated establishments.

DMCI was earlier subjected to an investigation for allegedly employing undocumented Chinese nationals in Calaca power plant.

One of the arrested suspects said the group’s plan was not to bomb Naia but Chinese operated offices.

The sources said the part of the group’s plan was to plant an improvised bomb inside the toilet of SM MOA, which would be padlocked “so no civilian will get hurt.”

The improvised explosive device was mostly made from banned firecrackers such as “Goodbye Philippines” that were wrapped around bottles filled with gasoline. It was placed inside a Toyota Revo with plate number WMK 129.

The vehicle was intercepted at around 1 a.m. Monday.

IN ANOTHER INQUIRER NEWS REPORT:


2009 PHOTO: When it comes to lawyerly-ness, it’s hard to dispute the (self-proclaimed) credentials of Atty. Ely Pamatong. An “international laywer,” Ely Pamatong is, for all intents and purposes, better than notaries public who hold office in the corners of eateries, law students, paralegals, law professors, and average ordinary lawyers. Backed up by the Philippine-US Guerilla, this fine specimen of political will is poised to – once again – run for the highest office in the land. SOURCE:
http://marocharim.com/2009/11/28/ely-pamatong-a-spike-to-the-presidency/

MANILA, Philippines—Lawyer Ely Pamatong, once declared a nuisance presidential candidate, seems to be back from oblivion. But if he’s working alone, or with some more influential people, is something that authorities are still trying to find out.

Pamatong has been alleged to be behind the foiled attempt to detonate explosives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3, a highly placed intelligence source told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Tuesday.

Pamatong was linked to the four arrested suspects, mainly Grandeur Guerrero, a military reservist.

* The Inquirer source said Guerrero has been acting as the “chief of staff” of Pamatong, the self-proclaimed “commander-in-chief” of the USA Freedom Fighters of the East or USAFFE, a named derived from the World War II era United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE).

Pamatong’s USAFFE is comprised of a dozen or so members, described as “attention seekers” without any potent capability to sow terror or destabilize the government, according to the source, who is familiar with the investigation.

But the source added that the investigation would certainly not end with Pamatong, declining to give more details.

“While (Pamatong’s group) can cause harm because people can still get injured, the quality of their group is questionable.

 They are mere attention seekers,” the source said.

The source said Pamatong’s USAFFE appeared to have been formed only in July.

Malacañang said it was waiting for the results of authorities’ investigation into the bombing attempt.

“What we want to say is at present, there is no grave threat because of this incident. The President and the government think that any harm that this wanted to bring has been stopped. The implication of what happened yesterday (Monday, Sept. 1) is being studied thoroughly,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a press briefing.

Coloma stressed that “government would like to be in a constant state of vigilance, alertness, and readiness because government is ultimately responsible for the safety and well-being of its citizens.”

“And that is why even if there have been no serious consequences as a result of what has been uncovered, we want to forestall or to impede any future attempt that might threaten the stability and peace and order of our land and communities,” he said.

Coloma also said nothing in the initial investigation being conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicated that Guerrero’s group was linked to a destabilization plot but added authorities have been checking into their network or alliances.

A manifesto against China was found in the possession of the suspects. It mainly criticized the government’s supposed soft stance in handling the Philippines’ territorial dispute with China in the Spratlys.

The Inquirer source said the NAIA terminal served as the group’s meeting area and that the airport was not their primary target.

As reported earlier, the group targeted the Chinese Embassy, Mall of Asia owned by Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy, and the office of DMCI, a leading real estate company that was investigated for allegedly employing undocumented Chinese nationals in its power plant in Batangas.

The source added that the group also planned to “attack” the Army Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio and V. Luna Medical Center, the military’s main hospital in Metro Manila.

The improvised incendiary device, comprised of banned firecrackers and gasoline, found inside the suspects’ vehicle was hardly a deadly explosive, the source said.

“But it still could have hurt people that is why we are still taking this seriously,” the source said.

FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

Pamatong arrested over bomb plot  By AFP, Rey E. Requejo | Sep. 04, 2014 at 12:01am

Ely Pamatong was arrested Wednesday over his suspected involvement in a foiled anti-Chinese bomb plot, authorities said.


In custody. NBI agents arrive at the NBI headquarters on Taft Avenue in Manila on Wednesday with Ely Pamatong, a suspect in the bombing attempt at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Tuesday.
Danny Pata

A nuisance candidate disqualified from running for president in 2004, he was arrested after Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said investigators were looking into the possibility he was behind the failed bombings.

“I can confirm the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) is looking into the possible involvement of Pamatong,” De Lima told reporters.

She said that Pamatong himself admitted he knew the three men arrested on Monday after the NBI found a van with improvised explosives at Manila’s main international airport.

The three were reportedly planning a series of attacks against the Chinese embassy and businesses owned by ethnic Chinese tycoons.

Shortly after De Lima’s statements, NBI director Virgilio Mendez said that Pamatong had been arrested at the Manila airport upon arrival from Mindanao.

He was arrested based on a warrant issued in 2013 over a 2004 incident where Pamatong’s followers scattered spikes on Manila’s main thoroughfare, puncturing the tires of passing vehicles to protest his disqualification as a presidential candidate.

Asked if they would use the arrest to question him about the bomb plot, Mendez said it was part of their “investigative intelligence technique”.

Pamatong has previously headed a group seeking US statehood for the Philippines and in 2008 filed a suit against Pope Benedict XVI accusing him of human rights violations.

He has also taken part in anti-Chinese protests in the past.

* A self-proclaimed “international lawyer and spokesman” for the Nur Misuari faction of the separatist Moro National Liberation Front, he also earlier declared war against China.

Justice Secretary de Lima warned “we may laugh at these details but whether these are comic characters or pranksters, we should not belittle them”.

“What if they succeeded and caused harm or death? The fact that they contemplated such activities is more than enough to put us on guard,” she added.

Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma said Malacanang Palace has assured China that it would make all efforts to safeguard their nationals despite the new threat.

“Our Department of Foreign Affairs sent an official ‘note verbale’ to China through their embassy here to assure them of the security of their facilities and people,” he said.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Ely Pamatong out on bail By Tetch Torres |INQUIRER.net3:11 pm | Friday, September 5th, 2014


Ely Pamatong. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

MANILA, Philippines—Two days after his arrest, Atty. Ely Pamatong, the alleged mastermind on the foiled attack at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) was temporarily released after posting bail before the Quezon City court.

NBI Director Virgilio Mendez, in a phone call Friday confirmed that Pamatong posted a P2,000-bail for malicious mischief and P12,000 for inciting to sedition for scattering metal spikes in EDSA in 2004.

“We have no choice but to release him. He is facing a bailable offense,” Mendez said.

Pamatong admitted that he is the head of the USA Freedom Fighters of the East (Usaffe), the group that was supposed to set off an improvised incendiary device inside the Naia Terminal 3 early Monday morning.

After his release noontime Friday, Pamatong visited the three who were arrested at Naia 3 including Grandeur Guerrero, whom he said is one of his trusted aides.

The NBI is still conducting an investigation on the extent of Pamatong’s involvement in the planned attack at the airport and Chinese operated establishments.

FROM THE TRIBUNE

Bombing suspect Pamatong links Trillanes Written by Angie M. Rosales Thursday, 04 September 2014 00:00


TRILLANES

But senator says plot meant to divert attention from Makati probe.

The already bizarre foiled car bombing attempt asclaimed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) turned into a political sideshow after suspect, the eccentric political figure Ely Pamatong, linked Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, who once was involved in failed military takeover, to a destabilization plot.

Trillanes, however, hit back claiming that the group of Vice President Jejomar Binay was behind the plot “to divert public attention” from the Senate investigation on the allegedly overpriced Makati parking building.

One source, however, pointed to Malacañang as having knowledge of the incident, apparently to divert public attention from the controversy brought about by Malacañang-invented disbursement acceleration program (DAP).

“Malacañang is now on survival mode…they’re becoming desperate,” he said.

During the hearing on the proposed 2015 budget of the National Security Council (NSC), National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia, however, described as “harmless” the group of Pamatong called United States Allied Freedom Fighters of the East (USAFFE) that the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said was behind the foiled bombing attempt.

Trillanes called Pamatong “crazy” and a “nut-case” for dragging him into the supposedly failed plot to bomb the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).

“You know that’s crazy, that guy is crazy. If we will put value in what he says, we’re crazier than that guy,” Trillanes said.
Pamatong said that one of the suspects in the bomb try was framed by the “Magdalo faction” of the military to which the senator belongs.

Trillanes claimed that the fact the bombing attempt was uncovered on the day an ocular inspection of the Makati City Hall parking building was held pointed the motive to diverting public attention away from the Senate investigation.

Trillanes also accused the Vice President of engaging in diversionary tactic by trying to deflect the issue on the controversial strucuture by having him dragged into the foiled plot to bomb the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Magdalo is the group that was popularized by Trillanes, composed of junior military officers and soldiers, behind the failed mutiny in July 2003 and according to Pamatong, the group is out to frame one of the suspects who is said to be his “chief of staff” in USAFFE.

Sen. Nancy Binay was quick in dismissing the latest allegations of her colleague against her family.

“What will be (Trillanes’) next accusation against us be? (The Binays) do not have a history of destabilization. I think it is more the forte of Trillanes,” she said in a separate interview with reporters.

* Senator Binay also belittled Trillanes’ charges that her father is out to divert public attention on the Senate probe saying that there’s no need to engage in such tactic since the panel inquiring into the Makati building has not actually established the issue of overpricing.

Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, chairman of the Senate finance committee, was told that USAFFE has been classified by the intelligence community as a “dubious organization” that comes in and out of their radar screen from time to time.

“At one point, you can see them staging rallies in favor of the VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement) infront of the US (United States) Embassy. They do come once in a awhile, come to our attention. They are basically harmless.

“They constitute a fake guerilla racket, fake guerilla organizations, dubious anti-communist organization, pseudo-religious organization and the like. There was a time when they were being followed closely until our Freedom Constitution came about. There was greater tolerance for freedom of organization,” Garcia said.

“When you say its dubious what exactly do you mean? The DoJ (Department of Justice) conducted a presscon yesterday saying it could have killed, maimed, they even termed it was an act of terror or an attempted act of terror. Is there a reason for us to be afraid of this USAFFE group?” Escudero asked

“There was a time when this kind of organization was generally classified under the term ‘dubious organization’. And there was an effort to monitor their activities but as time went on and the Freedom Constitution was effected, there was less inclination from the intelligence community to keep track of this kind of organization,” Garcia said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also junked the destabilization angle in the supposed bombing attempt claimed to have been foiled by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

“There is no destabilization angle,” AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. said of the alleged foiled bombing at NAIA.

Tribune sources supported Catapang’s pronouncement, citing the “amateurish” type of “explosives” seized from the suspects and how they plot the alleged bombing.

They also noted the non-participation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the AFP in the operation launched by the NBI-Anti Transnational Crimes and Counter-Terrorism Divisions.

“Definitely, it’s not a destabilization plot,” one source told The Tribune. “What were seized were not improvised explosive devices, but mere firecrackers and bottles of gasoline,” he said.

“The military and police were silent on this. Why? Because it’s nothing,” he added.

Another source noted claims that the four arrested suspects were caught inside a vehicle at the NAIA Terminal 3 parking lot on Monday.

“If you used a car bomb, you only leave it in an area where you think you can create maximum damage. You don’t assemble it where you want to explode it, that’s foolish,” the source said.

Catapang earlier said that what were seized from the four arrested suspects by the NBI were “plapla” or a type of commercial firecrackers.

The arrested suspects were linked to lawyer Ely Pamatong, who gained notoriety in 2004 after admitting he spread metal spikes along EDSA in protest against the government.

He also dismissed terror attack as motive. “These are not barbaric acts but comic relief, creating attention,” said Catapang.

“We considered the incident more of a criminal offense rather than a destabilization effort,” Catapang said to Senate reporters shortly before his promotion to his post was confirmed by the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) yesterday.

“We still believe that this is not a terrorist act because it was done by somebody whom we know is more or less like a prankster who wants to get the attention of the public. But we’re still looking into it,” Catapang said.

Besides, the AFP chief emphasized, the supposed plot did not show even in their intelligence report the reason for it not to be considered as a cause for any alarm insofar as disruption of law and order situation in the country is concerned.

“There’s no destablization angle on that. Imagine the supposed use of firecrackers and gasoline. Anybody can do that. I think that’s not something that we should bother about,” he added.

Catapang also said that there’s no need to call for a heightened alert in ensuring peace and order in major establishments and other possible targets of terroristic acts due to lack of any existing information on this matter Even the matter of alleged bomb plot in the AFP headquarters, major shopping malls and other highly-populated places proved to have no basis at all.

Despite the lack of any vital information, the AFP chief still is in agreement with the need to hold the perpetrators accountable, saying that what they did was still a crime.

“It’s up to the DoJ (Department of Justice). They have to face the law,” Catapang said.

As to the claims of Pamatong that the suspects apprehended by authorities aligned with his group USAFFE, Catapang refused to issue any comments.

“That is still being investigated,” he said.

Pamatong was arrested at the airport yesterday.

Incidentally, aside from Catapang who breezed through the screening committee of the CA, also nominated and eventually received nod from the bicameral appointments body were 50 flag and senion officials of the AFP.

United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) secretary general Toby Tiangco said Trillanes’ has acquired the gift of being a seer similar to the witnesses produced against Binay, Renato Bondal at ex-vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, in the Makati building controversy.

“Our question, however, is who really has a history in planting bombs?,” he said.

It seems that Senator Trillanes aside from venting out his frustration on not being a decorated soldier, and is working double time to be an interior decorating senator, now wants to relive his days as a destabilizer and a frustrated bomber.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Amid foiled terror attempt, AFP denies destabilization plot
By Maila Ager |INQUIRER.net2:36 pm | Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014


Suspects in the NAIA 3 bomb try at DOJ. JOAN BONDOC

MANILA, Philippines –There is no destabilization plot despite the reported plan by a group of military reservists to bomb specific targets in Metro Manila, including the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), the Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Wednesday.

“There’s no destabilization angle on that report kasi imagine ano lang ‘yun, labintador tapos nilagayan ng gasoline (It’s just a firecracker and gasoline). Anybody can do that so I think that’s really something that (we should really not be bothered about),” General General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., AFP Chief of Staff, told reporters after attending his confirmation hearing at the Senate.

Catapang was referring to Monday’s foiled plot to bomb the Naia allegedly by a group protesting China’s occupation of disputed isles in the South China Sea.

He also dismissed as mere “allegation” reports that the same group was planning to bomb SM Mall of Asia, in Pasay and the Chinese Embassy and the headquarters of property developer D.M. Consunji Inc. in Makati City, all Chinese-operated establishments.

“Well that’s the allegation but we looked around, sabi may mga threat din sa kampo namin pero negative naman so we didn’t want to put more, bigyan sila ng importansya,” said the military chief.

(Well that’s the allegation but we looked around and found out that there were threats in our camp. But we discovered they were “negative” and we just do not want to give them more importance.)

Catapang said they would just leave it up to the National Bureau of Investigation to file the appropriate charges against those behind the foiled Naia terror plot.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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