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DoJ okays charges vs 3 blast suspects

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THE Department of Justice approved the indictment of three Davao City night market bombing suspects for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

The DoJ recommended the filing of a case for illegal possession of explosives, firearms and ammunition against  TJ Tagadaya Macabalang, Wendel Apostol Facturan and Musali Mustapha, all members of the terrorist Maute Group.

The DoJ said the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group was able to prove that the three respondents illegally possessed small arms, ammunitions as well as the explosive components.

“Taking into consideration that the Intratec semi-auto pistol has no serial number, it necessarily follows that the same is unregistered. Since respondents were caught in possession of said firearms and ammunition without authority, the latter are deemed liable under the aforesaid law,” the resolution stated.

Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon and Prosecutor General Claro Arellano approved the resolution.

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The three respondents were arrested at a checkpoint along Pedro Colina Hill in Cotabato City last Oct. 4 at 3:30 in the afternoon. Seized include one intratec model 9mm semi-auto submachine gun without a serial number, one machine gun magazine, 20 live 9mmm ammunitions.

Also seized is a caliber.45 combat commander, two caliber. 45 magazines and 14 caliber .45 live ammunitions, IED materials, two 60MM cartridge, two blasting caps, four mobile phones and two electronic circuit with a nine volts battery. One of the four mobile phones contained a video of the night market bombing in Davao City.

On the confiscated IED, based on the certification issued by the police’s Explosive Ordinance Division, the seized components are capable of producing explosion that will result in mass casualties and damage to property.

During the preliminary investigation, the three respondents denied the accusations against them, saying they were abducted and tortured by the police but DoJ prosecutors held that the denial of the three accused “is intrinsically weak.”

“As between the conflicting testimonies of the parties regarding the surrounding circumstances of respondent’s arrest, we find that of the complainants to be more credible,” the resolution stated.

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