8 of 20 suspected Sayyaf members positively identified by witnesses



The eight suspected Abu Sayyaf Group members are in a huddle with their lawyer and interpreter. They were positively identified by their captive during reinvestigation at the Department of Justice.

MANILA, Philippines—Eight out 20 suspected Abu Sayyaf Group members have been positively identified by two of their captives during the reinvestigation conducted Monday at the Department of Justice.

Identified were Jumlie Orie, Jul Ahmad Ahadi Julman, Arabi Muin Ladja, Sonny Boy Barahim, Abdulwahab Hamja, Mujibar Alih Aman, Julhasan Jaani and Absar Mangkabang Asim

The two who turned government witnesses were among the six Jehovah’s Witnesses abducted in Patikul, Sulu, on Aug. 20, 2002 by the group of Radulan Sahiron. The husband of one of the captives who turned witness was later beheaded along with Lemuel Bantolo.

The government, through the DOJ moved for a reinvestigation of the case following claims of some of the accused that they had been arbitrarily arrested. The government’s request was granted by Judge Torinio Ilao Jr. of the Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 266.

“This is an unusual move for the DOJ but we did it in the interest of justice…There are some people arrested for not committing anything,” Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, Vice-Chair of the DOJ Anti-Terrorism Task Force, said during Monday’s reinvestigation.

Authorities have arrested three persons, one of them, Ahmadsali A. Badron, 40, who is a member of the Reconciliation and Unification of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and a former Commissioner of the Department of Education.

The witnesses failed to identify Badron. Badron was arrested last July 28, 2012.

In the case of accused Kumander Black Tungkang, two people were arrested, the DOJ panel of investigators said. A reward money of P3.3 million was being claimed for the arrest of one of the two.

The panel asked each of the 8 suspects to give their side. Aman, whom the victim said was allegedly in charge of Abu Sayyaf’s budget and told to pick one of the captives for him to marry, denied the allegations.

Jaani, on the other hand, whom the victim said as one of those who beheaded her husband, maintained that he has nothing to do with the abduction.

“It’s not true. I’m an assistant Imam and (former Western Mindanao Command chief) General (Benjamin) Dolorfino can vouch for that,” Jaani said.

One of the eight suspects also said he was just a student when the incident took place and one of his witnesses was then Governor Wahab Akbar.

Ong said they will expedite the issuance of the resolution to release those who are wrongfully arrested.

“Some of the explanations are really satisfactory for me. We will issue a resolution as soon as possible [but] this is subject to the approval because this case is already in court,” Ong said.

The DOJ reinvestigating panel is composed of Asst. State Prosecutors (ASP) Mary JaneSytat, Josie Christina Dugay, Marmarie Satin-Vivas, and Benito Sales.

There are a total of 135 accused in the kidnapping case.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/2POLH6BTHUM5I2WH42GCJB64AQ domingog

    tila confusing itong balita.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GG4T5UNZ3P7SCHSRNJ7PF5JZMM Jimmy

    Make sure these accused also undergo polygraph test..!! Those that have been positively identified should not be released…!!!!!

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos