4 alleged Abu Sayyaf in frustrated murder raps for Aug. blastBy Julie Alipala
ZAMBOANGA CITY — Police authorities here filed frustrated murder charges against four Abu Sayyaf suspects in connection with the August 16 bus blast that injured seven persons.
Senior Superintendent Jaime Mejia, city police director, on Friday said charged were Hud Limaya, May-May Limaya, Toto Limaya and a John Doe.
It was not immediately known if the three Limayas were related but Hud, was among those blamed for the deaths of 19 soldiers in Al Barka, Basilan in October 2011.
He was also being implicated in abduction incidents in Basilan.
“They are members of the Abu Sayyaf Group,” Mejia said.
Mejia said the suspects were identified through descriptions provided by witnesses and victims of the blast.
The witnesses also identified them from a gallery of photos the police had shown, he said.
While suspects were charged in the bus bombing, Mejia said nobody has been identified yet in the succeeding explosion that took place near a mosque at Campo Muslim here.
The second explosion took place about an hour after an improvised explosive device tore off the Rural Transit Bus that was arriving at the Guiwan terminal on the night of August 16.
Ricardo Cabaron, regional state prosecutor for Western Mindanao, said Hud Limaya was a known Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) leader in Basilan.
The police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Western Mindanao also described him as an MILF leader, and was among those charged — alongside other MILF leaders in the province — for the October 2011 clashes that killed 19 soldiers from the Army’s Special Forces.
Cabaron said he had directed the review of all the documents and evidence submitted by the police in connection with the bus blast.
Von Al Haq, MILF spokesperson, confirmed that Hud Limaya was an MILF commander based in Basilan.
Mohagher Iqbal, MILF’s peace panel head, said they were willing to work with their government counterparts to determine if Limaya was indeed involved in the atrocities he was being charged with.