Skip to comments.Manila bomb suspect admits guilt
Posted on 07/08/2003 2:13:39 AM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
A self-confessed separatist guerrilla has pleaded guilty to involvement in a deadly bomb attack in the Philippine capital Manila in December 2000.
Saifullah Mukhlis Yunos, 31, said he helped plan the attack on a commuter train, one of five near-simultaneous blasts in the city which, in total, killed 22 people.
Mr Yunos says he is a sub-commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) - a separatist group fighting for an independent Islamic state in the southern Philippines.
The charges against him include multiple murder and multiple attempted murder.
Yunos, wearing an orange detainee's shirt and handcuffs, appeared unrepentant throughout his 30-minute appearance in the Manila courtroom on Tuesday.
He acknowledged having a role in the attack, and told the judge he was aware he could face the death penalty.
He had previously told prosecutors that the attack was in retaliation for a military offensive against the MILF, and that it was financed by the Jemaah Islamiah (JI) militant group.
State prosecutor Peter Ong said he was confident that Yunos would be convicted for the crime.
"He is going down," Mr Ong told the French news agency AFP, adding that at least three survivors of the bombing had already positively identified him.
"They saw him get off the train minutes before it exploded," Mr Ong said.
A pre-trial hearing has been set for later this month.
On Monday, prosecutors also charged several suspected JI leaders in connection with the Manila attacks.
East Asia's most wanted man, Hambali, was indicted along with Abubakar Faiz Bafana, Fathur Rohman al-Ghozi and five Filipinos believed to belong to the MILF.
Only Mr al-Ghozi is likely to go on trial, as Mr Bafana has already been detained in Singapore and the others are still at large.
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