Cop hunted for blast in Batasan

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — A FORMER member of the Traffic Management Group assigned in Mindanao is now being hunted for his role in the November 13 Batasan bombing that killed four people including Basilan Rep. Wahab Akbar and wounded scores of others.

Police Officer 3 Bayan Judda was ordered arrested by Philippine National Police chief Director General Avelino I. Razon, Jr. after witnesses identified him as the source of the bomb.

Razon described Judda as a “key personality” in the blast. He ordered police in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Western Mindanao to bring him for questioning to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group headquarters in Camp Crame as soon as he is located.

This developed as a Basilan town mayor yesterday supported the PNP’s claim that Hajarun Jamiri, an arrested suspect in the bombing, was not tortured.

Sumisip town mayor Haber Asarun said he was present when Jamiri confessed his knowledge in the bombing before Akbar’s wife, Basilan Gov. Jum Akbar, and several others including Lantawan Mayor Tahira Ismael on Nov. 22.

The Journal chanced upon Asarun yesterday at the CIDG headquarters where he was preparing to submit a statement regarding the Nov. 22 incident wherein he said that a weeping Jamiri confessed his role in the “kill Akbar plot.”

Asarun said Jamiri wept before Gov. Akbar and tagged Anak-Mindanao Rep. Mujiv Hataman, his brother Jim and former deputy speaker for Mindanao Gerry Salapuddin as the masterminds. Jamiri said Akbar was ordered killed because he is a “political thorn” in the side of the Hatamans and Salapuddin.

“Nagsisisi ako. Tulungan ninyo akong makalaya at pakisabi sa Department of Justice at CIDG na puwede akong mag-star witness sa kasong ito,” Asarun quoted Jamiri as saying in their native Yakan dialect.

“Basta ma-save ko ang sarili ko, sasabihin ko ang totoo,” the Basilan mayor quoted Jamiri as telling Governor Akbar.

Asarun said Akbar and Mayor Ismael were also crying as Jamiri made his confession without being asked. He said that Gov. Akbar even told Jamiri that she will relay Jamiri’s request to her late husband’s other family and relatives.

Asarun said they were surprised when Jamiri refused to sign his initial statement. He said they have information that Jamiri fears for the lives of his two wives and their children and he has been paid to retract his confession.

“Me balita kami na binayaran siya para bumaliktad,” he said.

Asarun said Jamiri was the mayor of Tuburan town from 1998 to 2001. He lost his bid for a second term in Tuburan to Durie Kallahal. During the last May 14 elections, he ran for the mayoralty post of Akbar town but lost to Alih Salih.

“Tingin ko nagsasabi siya ng totoo nung humingi siya ng tawad ke Gov. Akbar. Hindi namin siya tinatanong pero nagkuwento siya sa amin ng buong istorya. Kaya hindi kami naniniwala na na-torture siya,” Asarun said.

Jamiri Monday posted an P80,000 bail for an illegal possession of firearm case and was released by the CIDG.

Razon said that Jamiri is still undergoing preliminary investigation in connection with the multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder charges filed against him by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.