My Google Page Rank

General Galvez eyes extortion in Lamitan City car bombing (Suicide bombing not conclusive)


The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is eyeing extortion as behind the car bomb explosion in Lamitan City in Basilan early morning Tuesday that killed 11 people.

In a press conference at Western Mindanao Comnand (WesMinCom) headquarters yesterday, AFP Chief of Staff General Catlito Galvez Jr. said the definite (the purpose) of bombing is extortion.

Galvez cited loss of support from individuals, sympathizers to the Abu Sayyaf group as a motivation for the commission of the attack.

"Tuloy- tuloy na nagkakaisa. Wala ng nagbibigay sa Abu Sayyaf. Based doon sa report humihingi sila ng P50,000 sa lahat ng mga LGUs. That single action (bombing) iyon ang ginagamit nilang panakot."

Secondly, the AFP chief said that they see another motive for the bombing is to gain some support as more than one hundred members of the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan have already surrendered.

"They wanted to make a very strong statement and that statement, proof iyong bombing and nakita natin iyong target is really iyong ongoing march at saka iyong parade ng mga bata na more or less four thousands sa Lamitan.

“Kung hindi naging vigilant iyong mga tropa natin most probably baka doon nakapunta iyong time element (a triggering explosive device). Most probably iyong target is the Nutrition Month parade ceremony," Galvez revealed.

Commenting on reports that the incident was perpetrated by a suicide bomber, Galvez said: "It's not conclusive. Iyong area na pinangyarihan iyong road leading to Colonia iyong junction doon iyon iyong area na pinagdaan din noon ng mga terrorista na Abu Sayyaf at ng mga rogue MNLF noon maalala pa natin iyong Zamboanga siege. So hindi conclusive."

Earlier reports revealed that a van driven by a foreign-looking suspect was stopped at a military checkpoint Tuesday, but it later blew up, raising suspicion that it was a case of suicide bombing.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) terror group, in its Amaq news agency, claimed responsibility for the bombing, which it called "a martyrdom operation".

However, AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo on Wednesday confirmed that the bombing in Basilan on Tuesday has yet to show any connection to the ISIS.

“Any terrorist group or organization can conveniently claim responsibility and ride on the incident for their own glorification. Jumping into it will be like aiding their narrative and lending themselves (the people) as instruments of terrorists’ propaganda," he added.

Arevalo attributed to the group of Abu Sayyaf sub-commander Furiji Indama as behind the bombing, saying that Indama's group supposedly bombed the checkpoint because they were losing ground in the area.

The Abu Sayyaf group is known for bombing, extortion, kidnap for ransom activities. It has earned many millions of dollars in ransom payments in past kidnappings and beheads hostage unless money is paid. Hader Glang

Related news items:
Newer news items:
Older news items:

Add comment

Security code