DOJ to probe abduction rap vs bet for governorBy Christine O. Avendaño |Philippine Daily Inquirer
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Tuesday said she will assign a state prosecutor to investigate allegations that Sultan Kudarat Mayor Tocao Mastura, who is running for Maguindanao governor against reelectionist Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, had abducted in 2007 a woman and had asked her husband to pay a P5-million ransom and hand to him a land title in exchange for her release.
De Lima told reporters she met with representatives of Jaiton and Aisha Camsa who gave her copies of their affidavit-complaints against Mastura.
“They want the preliminary investigation to be conducted in the main office rather than the provincial prosecutor’s office because you know these are powerful personalities,” De Lima said.
She said she will order the National Prosecution Service of the Department of Justice to assign a prosecutor to conduct the preliminary investigation.
In her affidavit-complaint, Aisha said she went with two companions to the house of Mastura in Barangay (village) Salimbao in Noling town, Sultan Kudarat on March 9, 2007 on the invitation of her sister-in-law Josephine Braceros.
But at the Mastura residence, they were brought to a room separate from the house where Maruja Ampatuan Mastura was waiting. She said Maruja ordered food for herself and after her meal, she went to Aisha and suddenly slapped her.
Tocao Mastura went to the room and, according to Aisha, he told her that her husband should give him money and a land title in exchange for her life in one week. Mastura allegedly punched Aisha again before finally leaving the room.
In Jaiton’s affidavit-complaint, he said he decided eventually to hand over the family land title to the Masturas after he spoke to his wife on the phone.