Three suspects, reportedly behind the Sept. 2 blast in Davao City which claimed the lives of 15 persons and resulted in the wounding of 70 others, are now under the custody of authorities.
Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, in a press briefing on Friday, said all three suspects were arrested during a checkpoint operation last Oct. 4 in Cotabato City.
All three are allegedly members of the Maute Terrorist Group which is based in Lanao Del Sur, and reportedly aligned with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
Lorenzana said the attack was in retaliation for the February government offensive which caused heavy casualties against the brigand, and the Aug. 22 operation which resulted in the arrest of several bandits.
Military units in Lanao Del Sur conducted an offensive against members of the Maute Terrorist Group after it attacked a detachment in Butig last February.
Seized from the latter were a machine gun, a .45 caliber pistol, assorted bomb-making components, cellular phones and a video clip of the actual bombing attack which he claims the terrorists are turning into a propaganda video to get support from the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) terrorists in the Middle East.
Lorenzana said 10 members of the terrorists planned and participated in the Davao City bombing.
And while he considers the case close with the arrest of the three, the DND chief said hunt will go on for the remaining seven suspects.
Earlier, the ASG took responsibility for the bombing which hit the Roxas Night Market in Davao City.
The bloody incident prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to a “State of National Emergency on Account of the Lawless Violence in Mindanao”. (PNA)