Authorities charge 2 suspects in Basilan van blast

RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 14 2018 03:53 PM

Authorities have filed criminal charges against two suspects tagged in the deadly Lamitan bombing last month, a military official said Tuesday.

Charges of multiple murder and multiple serious physical injuries were filed against Indalin Abdulgani and Musa Jalaha for their alleged involvement in the July 31 van blast near a military detachment that left 11 dead and several others wounded, said Col. Fernando Reyeg, commander of Joint Task Force Basilan.

Reyeg said Abdulgani is a known Ustadz or preacher in Hadji Mohammad Ajul, a small coastal town in Basilan.

He was arrested two days after the attack.

Details on his participation in the deadly explosion remain murky as investigation continued. 

Jalaha was, meanwhile, implicated in the case for his alleged role as an intermediary when the vehicle used in the attack was sold to a certain person, said Reyeg.

He said Jalaha knew the person who bought the vehicle from a former village official at Hadji Mohammad Ajul and that he was present when the buyer handed over the payment for the said vehicle.

He said authorities got vital information from the suspect "which led to succeeding operations."

Reyeg said authorities are looking into a few more persons of interest whose names came up after Jalaha's interrogation. 

Reyeg tagged Furudji Indama, commander of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group in Basilan, as mastermind in the deadly attack.

Authorities said Indama was responsible for the series of kidnappings and attacks in Basilan and the Zamboanga peninsula.