Abu Sayyaf bomb expert claims another persona

In another well-scripted attempt to escape responsibility for his alleged attempt to plant bombs in Bohol, Abu Sayyaf cohort Renierlo Dongon has told the court here that his real name is Manuel Namoc Godinez Jr., a manifestation that left provincial prosecutor Eric M. Ucat vexatiously shaking his head.

Dongon, brother-in-law of Marwan who was one of the world’s most dreaded terrorists due to his advanced bomb-making skills which had earned him a US$5-million bounty offer from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) before he was killed in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in 2015 at the cost of 44 lives of Special Action Forces (SAF) commandos, told Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 48 Judge Jorge D. Cabalit that his name is different from what was indicated in the court’s charge sheet.

A quick search on Google and Facebook showed that Manuel Namoc Godinez Jr. is a non-existent personality, as far as the two giant websites are concerned.

There was a Manuel Godinez in Cebu City who was arrested in January this year for illegal drugs. Another Manuel Godinez Jr. turned out to be a professional realtor based in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Arriving in Bohol from a maximum security facility in Camp Crame together with dismissed Police Superintendent Maria Cristina Nobleza on Friday, Dongon also manifested before the court that he does not have a lawyer for his defense, another claim that left a combative fiscal Ucat in a state of perpetual annoyance.

Cabalit, who appeared composed as he read the documents pertaining to the cases of illegal possession of firearms and explosives filed against Dongon and Nobleza, found that Dongon has at least four to five name variations, none of which can be proven its authenticity.

Dongon, who was the suspected culprit in the 2012 bombing in Cagayan De Oro City that left four persons dead, was eventually acquitted by the court, using the strategy of claiming fictitious names, and the court was fooled by its own legal technicality gambit at that time.

In 2012 Nobleza was supposed to interrogate Dongon and uncover the young man’s link to ISIS and Al Qaeda, but the interrogation ended up in matrimonial bed, as the two had claimed to have wed under Muslim rites.



Meanwhile, judge Cabalit on Friday issued an arrest warrant against the mother of a suspected terrorist bomb expert, who, together with a female police official, had attempted to rescue Abu Sayyaf remnants that drifted to Bohol in April this year.

Judith Dongon, 62, mother of alleged bomb expert Renierlo Dongon, has been ordered to appear before Regional Trial Court-Branch 48, to face charges of resistance and disobedience to agent of person in authority.

  1. Dongon, her son Renierlo, a 13-year-old son of Rajah Sulaiman Movement leader Ahmed Santos, and now dismissed Police Superintendent Maria Cristina Nobleza were arrested on April 22, 2017 in Clarin town, Bohol on suspicions of attempting to rescue Abu Sayyaf stragglers.

The four were aboard a black Nissan Navara when they were intercepted at a checkpoint set up by the army and the police at the height of the hot pursuit operations on the fleeing Abu Sayyaf bandits that tried to infiltrate Bohol.

A short firearm and bullets along with food items, first aid kits, swimming gears and communication tools were seized from Nobleza’s Navara vehicle.

Police also recovered at their rented apartment in Panglao town, Bohol some bomb-making materials and blasting caps.

In a subsequent raid at her house in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, police found bomb-making materials and other devices that appeared to be a common possession of a hard-core terrorist.

Flying out of Camp Crame in Quezon City, R. Dongon and Nobleza, considered “high-risk detainees,” arrived in Bohol Friday, October 13, to face charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.

Certain roads in the city were closed to commuters Friday as the court heard the case for Dongon and Nobleza.

Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) operatives were deployed outside the court building.

Tight security was also established at a district jail here where the couple (the two had claimed they wed under Muslim rites) were temporarily detained while waiting for a late-afternoon commercial flight back to Camp Crame.



The impromptu issuance of the arrest warrant came after judge Cabalit was informed by provincial prosecutor Eric M. Ucat that J. Dongon is not detained in Bohol.

A police officer from Camp Crame had confirmed with Cabalit that J. Dongon has not been under the custody by the PNP national headquarters since her arrest in Bohol last April.

Earlier, PNP Director General Roland “Bato” Dela Rosa branded Judith Dongon as a “hard-core mother” due to her alleged ties with extremists.

Judith’s daughters, according to Dela Rosa, had married slain Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan (who was killed by Special Action Forces in Mamasapano, Maguindanao in 2015), Abu Sayyaf founder Khadaffy Janjalani, Abu Sulayman al-Muhajir (believed to be a senior member of al-Qaeda’s Al Nusra Fron), and Santos.

  1. Dongon was the alleged culprit in the 2012 bombing in Cagayan de Oro City which killed four persons, including two police officers.

Dongon, who was once detained in Camp Crame, was later released by the court due to some “legal technicalities.”


Meanwhile, the court here had granted separate medical check-up requests by Dongon and Nobleza.

Nobleza, through her legal counsel Sarah Soriano-Hermida, told the court she has an impaired vision. Dongon, appearing before the court without a lawyer, told the judge he needs his metal braces removed.

At the hearing, the judge has ordered police escorts that the two cannot go to any other hospital except the PNP General Hospital in Quezon City.

Cabalit, on the other hand, had given the prosecution team 15 days to comment on Nobleza’s omnibus motion to quash information and motion to dismiss the case. (Ligalig Mike Ortega)




About the Author

The Bohol Tribune is the leading newspaper in Bohol, Philippines, circulating in Tagbilaran City and in Bohol's 47 towns. Widely considered as the best newspaper in Bohol, The Bohol Tribune offers the most comprehensive coverage of news and features, presented in a world-class printing quality. For feedback/inquiries: 0920-630-1130 (smart) | 0927-6310-965 (globe) Landline: 038-501-0919 | E-mail: boholtribune@gmail.com

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