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Rizal Day bombing chronology

January 23, 2009 7:24pm
December 1996 – Al-Ghozi’s superior, Faiz bin Abubakar Bafana, sent him to Mindanao so the Islamic terror group Jema’ah Islamiyah could participate in the “holy war" there. He arrived in General Santos City through Manado, Indonesia.

November 2000 – Al-Ghozi visited Hadji Onos alias Muklis, an MILF member, in Marawi City to discuss the purchase of explosives in Cebu. Muklis informed him of the MILF’s plan to bomb Metro Manila to avenge the Erap administration’s bombing of Camp Abubakar and sought financial help from him. Al-Ghozi consulted Faiz, who agreed to the plan. Faiz wired a total of P250,000 through al-Ghozi’s PNB account under the alias Edris Anwal Rodin

Second week of November -- Al-Ghozi, Muklis, Paks and Salman went to Cebu to meet Abu Ali (alias Cusain Ramos), their “contact" in the purchase of explosives. They were able to buy 70 kilos of explosives that will be used to bomb Metro Manila.

December 1, 2000 – JI leaders Ridduan Isamudin alias Hambali, an Indonesian, and Faiz, a Malaysian, arrived at the NAIA via Malaysian Airlines. Al-Ghozi, Muklis and two others fetched them at the airport. Al-Ghozi said Hambali and Faiz visited the Philippines to personally monitor the MILF’s jihad.

December 10, 2000 – Muklis, Paks and Salman shipped the explosives to Manila aboard a SuperFerry.

December 15, 2000 – Al-Ghozi followed them.

But in a later statement, al-Ghozi said he was in Manila as early as last week of November 2000 and called Faiz to arrange his and Hambali’s visit to the Philippines on December 1, 2000. After the four-day visit, he returned to Cebu and returned to Manila in the last week of December.


December 1, 2000. After the four-day visit, he returned to Cebu and returned to Manila in the last week of December.

December 30, 2000 --- 22 people died while close to a hundred were injured when five simultaneous bombings rocked five areas in Metro Manila—LRT and Plaza Ferguson in Manila; a bus in Cubao, Quezon City; NAIA in Pasay City and an area near a gas station in Makati City.

Al-Ghozi and company left Manila that night for Iligan City, then Marawi City. Al-Ghozi again conferred with Abu Ali for the purchase of about 1.2 tons of explosives that they hid in Labangal, General Santos City. Al-Ghozi said Faiz ordered him to buy the 1.2-ton explosives that will be used to bomb the US and Israeli embassies in Singapore.

November 2001 – Al-Ghozi went to Singapore on Faiz’s orders and there met his boss’s brother, Fathi Abubakar Bafana. They surveilled the embassies.

December 2001 – Faiz was arrested in Singapore.

January 15, 2002 – Al-Ghozi was arrested around 5 a.m. by combined agents of the Bureau of Immigration and the National Police in Quiapo, Manila, allegedly while preparing to leave for Bangkok.

January 16, 2002 – DOJ conducted inquest proceedings on the illegal possession of firearms, falsification and use of fictitious name cases filed against him. During the inquest al-Ghozi revealed that a huge cache of explosives and firearms was hidden in General Santos City.

Al-Ghozi executed a sworn statement before the PNP Intelligence Group stating his personal circumstances and recruitment to JI.

January 17, 2002 – Acting on al-Ghozi’s tip, police seized the 50 boxes of explosives weighing more or less one ton, 17 units of M-16 rifles, four rolls of detonating cord, three boxes of blasting cap, two rifle grenade launchers, 14 short magazines for M-16 and 50 live ammunition for M-16 in barangay Labangal, General Santos City.

January 18, 2002 – Al-Ghozi and five others were charged with illegal possession of firearms before the General Santos City Municipal Trial Court in Cities.

January 19, 2002 – Al-Ghozi executed a supplemental sworn statement regarding his arrival in the Philippines, MILF training, the Rizal Day bombing, purchase of bombs.

January 24, 2002 – The DOJ filed multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder against Muklis, Col. Efren Torres and Sammy Arinday for the LRT bombing.

January 31, 2002 – Al-Ghozi executed another supplemental sworn statement detailing the purchase of explosives and the December 30, 2000, bombings.

February 1, 2002 – The PNP Intelligence Group asked the DOJ to investigate al-Ghozi and include him as respondent in the cases against Muklis et al., citing his sworn statements.

February 6, 2002 – The Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 54 issued warrants for the arrest of Muklis, Torres and Arinday.

February 11, 2002 – State Prosecutor Geronimo Sy recommended the filing of charges against al-Ghozi for violation of Republic Act 8239 or the Passport Act of 1996 in relation to the two fake passports he yielded after his arrest. He, however, dismissed the illegal possession of firearms case against al-Ghozi because the police merely presented photographs of the alleged explosive components seized from him after his arrest in Quiapo.

February 16, 2002 –
Al-Ghozi executed another supplemental sworn statement clarifying his previous affidavits. He said he himself planned the December 30, 2000, bombings.

April 18, 2002 – The General Santos City RTC Branch 35 sentenced al-Ghozi to 10 to 12 years’ imprisonment and ordered him to pay a P200,000 fine after pleading guilty of illegal possession of 50 boxes of explosives weighing one ton and other bombing paraphernalia

April 19, 2002 – The Zamboanga City Regional Trial Court sentenced al-Ghozi to six to 10 years’ imprisonment and a P60,000 fine for each of two counts of violation of the Philippine Passport Law. He admitted using two fake passports.

July 11, 2002
– Al-Ghozi executes another sworn statement detailing the participation of Hambali and Faiz and the purchase of explosives. Because of this, the PNP Intelligence Group asked the DOJ to conduct a preliminary investigation on the two JI leaders.

October 11, 2002 – The DOJ filed charges of illegal possession of firearms against Faiz and Hambali before the General Santos City RTC. The DOJ also charged Antonio Reyes, a Cebu City-based businessman who allegedly supplied the explosives to the terrorists.

May 25, 2003 – Muklis was arrested at the Cagayan de Oro City Airport while about to board a Philippine Airlines plane bound for Manila.

June 5, 2003 – The PNP Intelligence Group moved for the reopening of the case for the inclusion of al-Ghozi and other persons in the case at the Manila RTC after obtaining additional evidence.

June 18, 2003 – During the preliminary investigation of the case at the DOJ, al-Ghozi identified Muklis, Abu Ali and the pictures of Faiz and Hambali. Abu Ali identified al-Ghozi and Muklis; Muklis identified al-Ghozi, Abu Ali, Faiz and Hambali.

July 2, 2003 – Al-Ghozi submitted a sworn statement reaffirming his previous statements.

July 7, 2003 – The DOJ approved the inclusion of al-Ghozi, Faiz, Hambali and five others (MILF special unit head Alim Pangalian Solaiman, and alleged MILF members Zainal Paks, Salman Moro, Mohamad Amir and a certain Ustad Said) in the multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder case at the Manila RTC. An amended information on the charges against Muklis et al was filed the same day before Manila RTC Branch 54.

July 8, 2003 – Muklis pleaded guilty to charges that he helped plan at least one of the five coordinated bombings in Metro Manila on December 30, 2000.

July 14, 2003 – Al-Ghozi escaped from his maximum detention cell in Camp Crame along with fellow detainees Abdulmikim Edris and Omar Lapik Lasal also known as Merang Abante.

July 21, 2003 – Scheduled arraignment of al-Ghozi.

August 12, 2003 – Police arrested in Clarin town, Bohol province, Antonio Reyes, a businessman alleged to have bought several tons of explosives for al-Ghozi from various stores in Cebu in late 2000. Part of the explosives was reportedly used in the December 2000 LRT bombing.

August 15, 2003 – Hambali was reported to have been arrested in Thailand.

September 9, 2003 – Muklis filed a motion at Branch 54 withdrawing his guilty plea to the multiple murder charges for the LRT bombing, saying he did not “fully comprehend" the charges and was forced to plead guilty under duress.

October 12, 2003 – Al-Ghozi was killed in a shootout with the police in Pigcawayan town, North Cotabato. - GMA News Reasearch