COTABATO CITY (1st UPDATE) – Authorities seized a high-powered rifle, a grenade, and other weapons from a "high value target" here yesterday, who is suspected of involvement in the 2003 airport bombing in Davao City.
Operatives from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Armed Forces searched the house of Abdul Manap Mentang in Barangay Rosary Heights 3, Cotabato City at around 11 p.m. Friday after a firefight with four armed men.
Mentang eluded arrest, but the authorities were able to confiscate one Armalite rifle, one .45 caliber pistol, one hand grenade, one Icom two-way radio, and firearm magazines.
NBI Agent Ely Leano said Mentang is considered a high value target and has a warrant of arrest for his alleged involvement in the Sasa Wharf and Francisco Bangoy International Airport bombings in Davao City in 2003.
He has a P2.3-million bounty on his head.
According to the NBI, Mentang is suspected to be a member of a criminal group involved in gun running, and the manufacture and sale of improvised explosive devices.
According to Teng Usop, a relative of the house’s owner, their rights were violated during the conduct of the search.
During the course of the police search, a glass door was damaged, and the knee of a certain “Mohamad” was injured. Usop also alleged that seven cellphones and cash amounting to more or less P10,000 were missing.
Usop also denied that Mentang resides in the house, and said his family will report the incident to the local police for investigation.
Police had said that their search was authorized, and showed a warrant authorizing them to enter the house to search for illegal firearms.