Quantcast
Latest Stories

Rights group hits abductions of Moros


ZAMBOANGA CITY—A Moro human rights group on Friday decried what it described as fresh cases of enforced disappearance against Muslims suspected of being terrorists amid President Aquino’s signing into law of the Anti-Enforced, or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012 last month.

Abdulbaser Datumanong, coordinator of Kawagib (Rights) for the Zamboanga, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi areas, said this week alone, two apparent cases of enforced disappearance had taken place here and in Basilan.

Datumanong said Muin Hamja, 40, was forcibly taken by alleged policemen on suspicion of being an Abu Sayyaf member in Barangay Kumalarang in Isabela City in Basilan around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Hamja’s abduction, he said, took place as the Muslim community and rights advocates were protesting Tuesday’s kidnapping by state agents of Sheikh Basher Mursalun in Barangay Labuan.

Mursalun, he said, is an Islamic scholar, who is also the principal of a madrasah (Arabic school) in this city.

As in Mursalun’s case, Datumanong said Hamja’s family had searched for him the whole day on Thursday. Police and military authorities in Basilan told him they did not have him.

Detained

“However, a concerned citizen sent a text message to Kawagib with information that Hamja may be detained at the regional police headquarters in Zamboanga City,” Datumanong said.

The Western Mindanao police office has not issued a statement on the claim.

Datumanong said it was not the first time that Hamja was victimized by enforced disappearance, which, under the law that President Aquino signed last month, is now a criminal offense.

“The first was during the crackdown against the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan in October 2001 but [he] was released later for lack of evidence,” he said.

Hamja’s brother, Muhammadiya, who was also allegedly forcibly abducted by state agents during the said crackdown, was released after four years. He was taken in again in 2008 and remained locked up at the Basilan provincial jail up to this day, Datumanong said.

“Kawagib is on alert for a possible start of another crackdown on Moro men on suspicion of being Abu Sayyaf members,” he added, citing the cases of Hamja and Mursalun.

Sheikh Jamal Munib, chair of the National Ulama Conference of the Philippines for Western Mindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, said Muslim religious leaders here could “vouch for his (Mursalun’s) integrity and we know he is completely innocent of any imputation of [involvement in] criminal or lawless activities.”

“His contributions to the government in terms of civic and religious activities are even worthy of commendation,” Munib said.

 

Arrested

Mursalun’s father in-law, Sheikh Almahdi Baginda, president of the Institute of Qur’an Wal Hadith, said some sources, whom he would not identify, had told their family that Mursalun was not abducted but arrested by operatives of the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime (PCTC) and the police’s Special Action Force.

The PCTC is concerned with  cross-border drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorism.

“My son-in-law was driving home and witnesses told us they initially saw a black Mitsubishi Adventure bumping the rear part of the motorcycle he was driving,” Baginda said.

He said the same witnesses had told them that after falling off his motorcycle, Mursalun was shot by some of the armed men, who got off the Adventure before dragging him into it.

The armed men sped away with Mursalun, Baginda said.

Investigators later told them they had recovered the getaway car, with license plate MGP 829, in Barangay Patalon because it was abandoned by the suspects after blowing off its tires, Baginda said.

“But we were also told [by other witnesses] that a white van later picked up the men and my son-in-law,” Baginda said.

“We are condemning this latest human rights violation against us and we are really disturbed, affected and alarmed because if this can be done on an alim (scholar), it can also be done on ordinary people,” Munib said.

Senior Supt. Edwin de Ocampo, city police director, said the police could not yet say for certain who the suspects were, as the investigation was still going on.

He said the abandoned getaway car had a license plate issued by a Land Transportation Office in another region and not in Western Mindanao.

“We are still trying to find out who the owner is,” he said.

He also downplayed claims that government agents were behind Mursalun’s disappearance, as there had been no coordination with the city police if it was indeed an arrest.

Col. Glenn Macasero, commander of Task Force Zamboanga, also said he had no information on any fresh mission. Julie Alipala and Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Abduction , Human rights , Moro




Copyright © 2014, .
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
Advertisement
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  6. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  7. Estrada: I will pray for my detractors
  8. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  9. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  10. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. Massage attendant arrested on rape complaint filed by Japanese tourist
  3. ‘Tell no one’ Makati bettor won P250M lotto
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  6. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  7. North Korea uses flamethrower to execute official
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  10. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
Advertisement

News

  • How other faiths observe Holy Week
  • No noise, partying in Boracay on Good Friday
  • More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  • NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat
  • DOH issues official statement on confirmed case of MERS-CoV
  • Sports

  • Tenacious Iran frustrates Qatar to retain Asian Club volleyball crown
  • Floyd Mayweather is ESPN’s top-paid athlete
  • Pistorius trial: Judge sets 2-week adjournment
  • China, Taiwan rout foes for 3rd, 5th places in Asian Club volleyball
  • Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  • Lifestyle

  • Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Entertainment

  • Filipino rock icons to hold silent concert
  • Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao’s greatest hits
  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • Business

  • Russian economy hit by Ukraine turmoil
  • PSEi firms up ahead of Lenten break
  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
  • Visa-free travel by Filipinos to Japan still a proposal
  • Visa-free travel to Japan could boost tourism
  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement