Court of Appeals affirms guilty verdict vs Abu Sayyaf members

Court of Appeals affirms guilty verdict vs 7 Abu Sayyaf members

/ 04:06 PM April 01, 2024
CA affirms guilty verdict vs 7 Sayyaf members

MANILA, Philippines–The Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the guilty verdict against seven Abu Sayyaf members involved in the killing of a military asset in 2007.

In a 26-page decision through Associate Justice Eduardo Ramos Jr., the CA’s seventh division affirmed the Taguig City Regional Trial Court’s decision finding them guilty of murder.

They were met with imprisonment of up to 40 years (reclusion perpetua) without eligibility for parole for the death of Jemar Bairulla.


Convicted were Omar Jakarin Ibno, Hiya Arabain Hapipuddin, Muadzi Aisal Jala, Najer M. Daud, Omar E. Panagas, Jemar Malpa and Ibrahim Misuari.


But the CA modified the lower court’s decision by increasing the civil liabilities imposed against the seven  terrorists,  from P275,000 to P350,000 representing moral, exemplary, temperate damages.

The monetary awards are subject to interest at the rate of six percent per annum from the finality of this decision until fully paid.

The incident happened in August 2007, when all the accused boarded a boat bound for Sarong, Bataraza, in Palawan which  stopped at Tagbila Island.

Witness Marvin Abdusaid Nawang said that 30 minutes after disembarking, they heard a gunshot and saw that it was Jakarin. He said he also saw Bairulla fall to the ground.

The victim’s body was found by a fisherman two days later, floating near the shore at Puting Buhangin, Barangay Marangas, Bataraza, Palawan.

All the accused were arrested on Sept. 6, 2007. They were transported from Puerto Princesa, Palawan, to a military camp in Zamboanga City for investigation.


During the investigation, the accused appellants denied being members of the Abu Sayyaf.

They also denied the accusation that they conspired to kill the victim, adding that they were arrested without a warrant.

But the CA said: “In synthesis, the Court finds that the guilt of accused-appellants has been established but modifies the penalties imposed by the RTC. The evidence of the prosecution was strong enough to overcome the constitutional presumption of innocence in their favor.”

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“The defense has failed to refute the prosecution’s evidence. Hence, the accused-appellants must remain in prison for the rest of their lives unless age or sincere remorse unfastens their bonds,” it added.

TAGS: Court of Appeals

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