One of the five members of Maute terror group arrested by joint police and Army forces in Maguindanao admitted his involvement in the Davao bombing and said he acted as military trainer of the ISIS-inspired terrorists, police said.
Speaking to reporters, ex-PO2 Jessy Original, former member of Antipolo Police Office, admitted he acted as lookout of the bombers in Davao City on Sept. 2 that left 15 people dead and 60 others wounded.
"I did not leave our vehicle, I watched for police officers nearby," Original who goes by the name Abu Ashia, told reporters.
Original said he went on Absence Without Official Leave (AWOL) after nine years in police service. He went to Lanao del Sur with the help of a friend who convinced him to join Islam. "I am a Balik Islam," he said, adding that he felt belongingness in the company of Maute group in Butig, Lanao del Sur.
He said in February, he joined the Maute group in taking over Butig town as "test mission" for his trainees.
Original served as Maute group military training officer providing the recruits close quarter battle training, jungle warfare and mountain military operations.
"Most of my trainees were young, about 1,000 of them," he told reporters.
Original along with Arumpac Ibrahim Pandita, Hamsa Bagul, Musa Rasalam and Mohammad Said Jamla, are all Maute members. The four, however, denied knowing Original.
Original said he was planning to return to Antipolo or in the Visayas to lie low after they were driven out of Butig by government forces last November.
Senior Supt. Agustin Tello, Maguindanao police provincial director, said a highly reliable informant tipped off the police about the movement of Original's group on board luxury cars they tried to hide in the mountains of Barira, Maguindanao.
Police and military forces impounded a Toyota Tamaraw FX (ULB-358), a gray Mitsubishi Adventure (DSL-162), Mitsubishi Montero (AEX-783), Toyota Fortuner (TDQ-440), Toyota Fortuner (TQK-892) and a Toyota Hi-Ace van without license plates.
The suspects are now detained at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) detection cell in Cotabato City.
Taken from them were an improvised explosive device and four hand grenades.
Source: Philippines News Agency