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Delivery of mysterious package to ARMM Makati office foiled

Local News • 18:14 PM Fri May 6, 2016
John Unson
Jolly Lais, chief of the ARMM’s liaison office while at a police station. Inset is an NBI sketch of the suspected bomb courier. (Courtesy of ARMM)

COTABATO CITY ---- The liaison office in Makati City of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on Thursday asked the police to help identify a woman who attempted to deliver what is for employees a mysterious package” for ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman. The suspect ran away when security men were called to inspect her baggage as a standard procedure.In a written report to the Makati City Central Police Station, Jolly Lais, chief of the ARMM’s liaison office, said the suspect asked his staff, Susan Sayud, to receive the package on Hataman’s behalf, but balked and became frantic when told tohave it channeled through the guards.A copy of the report, bearing the signature of a police record officer, was obtained from Lais Friday morning.Lais said the suspect, whose head was covered with a veil, first told Sayud taga ARMM ka di ba?” while entering the building where their office is located and proceeded to convince her to accept the package for Hataman. Our employees always make sure packages delivered to us are inspected first by security personnel. My staff became apprehensive when the suspect hurriedly escaped bringing the package after having been told to have it inspected by the guards first,” Lais said.Lais said they immediately reported the incident to the National Bureau of Investigation, which provided an artist to do cartography of the suspect’s physical features. We decided to have the incident reported to the police because something was so wrong and we suspected that the package was possibly rigged with an improvised explosive device,” Lais said.Hataman is seeking reelection as official candidate of the Liberal Party. He is the party’s figurehead in the autonomous region, where more than 90 of its 116 municipal mayors belong.Lais said they became more worried when they remembered that two of Hataman’s campaigners, Lorenzo Talma in North Upi, Maguindanao and Ahmad Alip Nanoh of Pangutaran town in Sulu, were killed in one attack after another by suspected hired killers in just eight weeks.Nanoh was killed by a gunman in Zamboanga City on April 17 while Talma was shot dead by motorcycle-riding men last Monday in North Upi, a vote-rich town southwest of Maguindanao, whose mayor, Ramon Piang, is known for his political loyalty to Hataman.The deaths of Nanoh and Talma were preceded by the near fatal ambush also in Zamboanga City last January of Hataman’s staunch supporter, Mayor Jasper Que of Bongao, capital town of Tawi-Tawi.The ambush of Que, who was wounded in the attack, came about a month after he announced to the media that he and his constituent barangay chairmen are to campaign for Tan in Bongao, which has more than 40,000 registered voters.

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