MANILA: A potential car bomb attack at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) was foiled before dawn yesterday by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) with the capture of four suspects and the seizure of explosives.
NBI Director Virgilio Mendez declined to name the suspects who were caught in possession of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at the NAIA 3 parking area 35 at around 1.30am. Also seized was the suspects’ white Toyota Revo with license plate WMK 129.
At Malacañang, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said the NBI as well as the Department of Justice are in charge of the investigation and are set to submit a report to President Aquino.
Manila International Airport Authority senior assistant general manager Vicente Guerzon confirmed the arrests. Guerzon is also general manager for security and emergency.
Mendez and NBI-Anti-Organized Crime Division head agent Rommel Vallejo declined to give details so as not to jeopardize follow-up operations.
“We cannot be clear if this is a terrorist activity or a mere destabilization activity,” Vallejo said.
Unconfirmed reports showed that the NBI agents caught the suspects in possession of six to eight IEDs. The IEDs were reportedly made of firecrackers wrapped around a bottle containing gasoline.
A source said that when the suspects arrived at the parking area, the explosives were already assembled. The suspects were said to be in their 30s.
There are unconfirmed reports that among their targets were a shopping mall, a construction company and an embassy.
The NBI reportedly received a tip on a possible terror attack three weeks ago. The agents had been waiting for the suspects to arrive at the parking lot since the night of August 31.
A radio report said the plate number of the car was traced to a green Toyota FX with the owner’s known address in Baliuag, Bulacan.
“I was told that the NBI is engaged in entrapment operations and was able to follow the vehicle up to the airport parking area where they arrested the four suspects while assembling the IED,” said Terminal 3 manager Bing Lina said.
The Philippine star