Tacurong car bomb a birthday 'gift' for Gov. Toto Mangudadatu?

Maguindanao Gov. Esmael "Toto" Mangudadatu on Friday said the car bomb incident in Sultan Kudarat that killed two people Monday — including his close friend —could have been meant as a "gift" for his 43rd birthday.

Mangudadatu also revealed in an interview with GMA stringer Ferdinand Cabrera that he shares the same birthday — August 15 — as massacre suspect and former Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr.

Ampatuan, along with his father and two brothers, as well as 193 other suspects are facing 57 counts of murder for the grisly Maguindanao massacre, considered the worst single-day election-related violence in Philippine history.

Killed in the carnage were Mangudadatu’s wife and two sisters. He was running in the gubernatorial race the supposed Ampatuan bet, Andal Jr., in the May 2010 elections.

"Magkasabay kami ng birthday ni Unsay [Andal Jr.], 15th August siya, 15th August din ako... Hindi ko naman sinasabi na ano... pero ayun may naririnig rin ako na birthday gift iyan sa iyo," Mangudadatu said.

The car bomb exploded along the highway in Tacurong City and hit one of the cars in the convoy carrying Mangudadatu, who emerged unhurt from the incident. Killed in the blast were his friend and Maguindanao board member Datu Russman Sinsuat Sr. and a tricycle driver in the area.

A suspect, Datu Karim Masdal, was arrested on Monday as he was fleeing from the scene.

Masdal is facing double murder and multiple frustrated murder charges, while a second suspect — Jay R. Reyes — remains at large.

Masdal was seen alighting from the car, a Kia Avella, where the bomb was planted, the police said, citing witnesses interviewed after the blast.

However, Mangudadatu appealed to the Department of Justice and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to intensify the investigation and pin down the mastermind behind the attack.

Mangudadatu added there is a witness who could point to the brains of the bombing. "Mayroong puwedeng lumantad na witness na makakapagsabi na sino ba talaga ang nagplano nito... Marami kaming ebidensiya," he said.

A birthday warning, too

Mangudadatu said while being treated at the hospital, Sinsuat urged him to leave the hospital for his [Mangudadatu's] own safety.

"Noong nakausap ko siya, sinabi niya sa akin na umuwi ka na baka masundan ka pa rito," Mangudadatu said.

He added that Sinsuat's advice made him turn emotional. "Iyon ang last words niya sa akin. Pinayuhan pa ako dun ako napaiyak," Mangudadatu said.

Investigators are still trying to determine other people who could possibly staged the attack and if the owner of the Kia Avella has links to the Ampatuans.

In the same GMA interview, Mangudadatu appealed to jail officials at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Taguig City — where the Ampatuans are detained — to prevent the suspects from getting a hold of communication devices.

"Hanggang ngayong may cellphones pa sila, dapat rekisahin iyan. Hindi sa dahil kalaban ko sila [kaso] makakapagbigay sila ng orders at may pera sila, eh," Mangudadatu said.

The BJMP earlier dispelled rumors that the Ampatuans were enjoying special privileges in detention, including the use of cellphones and having an unlimited number of visitors. — VS, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Catholics organize to promote pope's climate change message

    NEW YORK (AP) — There will be prayer vigils and pilgrimages, policy briefings and seminars, and sermons in parishes from the U.S. to the Philippines. …

  • Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored
    Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Carroll Heath didn't have it easy growing up in the Great Depression. His father wasn't around, his mother was a patient in a mental hospital and he kept largely to himself. Soon after graduating high school, he enlisted in the Army and wound up in the Philippines, where he's believed to have died sometime in 1942. …

  • APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda
    APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda

    Trade ministers at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Boracay, Aklan agreed yesterday to endorse the proposed Boracay Action Agenda to the member countries’ leaders, presenting opportunities for global trade for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In a press conference following the conclusion of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, who also served as chairman, said ministers agreed to recommend the adoption of the …

  • Talks with China over sea row urged
    Talks with China over sea row urged

    The Philippines should engage China in bilateral talks in its efforts to maintain peace and order at the disputed West Philippine Sea, Sen. Francis Escudero said yesterday. Escudero supports the government’s move to bring the issue before international arbitration but also stressed the need for the Philippines to pursue talks with China. Escudero made the statement after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea. …

  • House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills
    House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills

    The House committee on national defense is deliberating on a measure mandating the regular conduct of disaster risk reduction drills in educational institutions nationwide. Authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., the bill mandates that risk reduction drills be held annually in all educational institutions throughout the country in coordination with the schools’ respective local government units. “The Philippines’ location along the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator …

  • PCSO running out of funds
    PCSO running out of funds

    Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Ireneo Maliksi has admitted that the revenue-generating agency is running out of funds as it continues with its mandate to provide financial assistance to indigent Filipinos. Aside from providing financial help to individual recipients, Maliksi cited at least 13 laws that mandates the PCSO to provide mandatory contribution to different government agencies. Just last week, PCSO released P100 million to the Commission on Higher Education as …

  • Cops receive mid-year bonus
    Cops receive mid-year bonus

    Active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP)have received their mid-year bonuses. The PNP has released P1.9 billion for the mid-year bonus of the 155,000 active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. The Directorate for Comptrollership released P1,933,664,893.50 through the Finance Service and subsequently credited to the individual ATM payroll accounts of active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. …

  • APEC trade chiefs vow to speed up work in WTO

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Trade ministers from 21 Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday issued strong support to the World Trade Organization's efforts to boost global trade amid a flurry of regional free trade agreements. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options