Ex-soldier charged with murder of popular Baguio cleric
BAGUIO CITY — A former soldier has been charged in absentia with killing a popular Islamic cleric in a brazen attack near the city police office on Dec. 6, 2018.
A case of murder has been filed against Joselito Fernando Vidad, an Islamic convert from Zamboanga City, on Monday (Jan. 6), according to Col. Allen Rae Co, Baguio police chief.
The year-long investigation led to Vidad, who was positively identified by a witness as the man who shot Bedejim Abdullah outside the building of Discover Islam Baguio at the public market.
Discover Islam is a block away from the city police office and City Hall.
Co said evidence suggested that Vidad had a grudge against Bedejim although police have yet to determine if it was personal or religious.
Images of Vidad were caught by security cameras as he fled from the crime scene. A woman was hurt by the gunman’s pistol when Vidad threw it away.
Bedejim was a vocal critic of extremism and was quick to explain Islamic traditions, practices and culture during gatherings. He participated in advocacies of the Baguio Benguet Ecumenical Group, and was a volunteer cleric of the Philippine Military Academy.
He was also an active mountain trekker, often taking part in conservation projects organized by local mountain bikers.
Edited by TSB
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