Arrest order issued anew vs 2 airport blast suspects-A A +A
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
A FAMILY court handling the cases filed against the suspects of Davao International Airport (DIA) bombing in March 2003 issued anew a warrant of arrest.
Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 33 Judge Lope Calio issued an alias (second) warrant of arrest against Indonesian Zulkifli, also known as Ronie Ofrasio, and a Filipino, Abdul Manap Mentang, member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Administrative Circular No. 7-92 signed by former Chief Justice Andres R. Narvasa stated that an alias warrant of arrest is used "if the original warrant of arrest is returned by the peace officer together with the report."
The original warrant of arrest was issued against the two on January 31 this year after they were charged with multiple attempted and frustrated murder.
The City Prosecutor’s Office on October 28 found probable cause to charge the two for the DIA bombing in 2003 which left 20 dead and several wounded.
The testimony of a certain Sammy Talib Abdulgani, a self-confessed MILF who claimed to have witnessed how the bombing was planned, was the evidence used by police authorities to file the case.
It was reported that Abdulgani alleged that Mentang agreed to conduct the bombing at the airport and saw Zulkipli hand money to Mentang for operational expenses.
He added that Abdulgani, Mentang and other 33 recruits were trained in 1998 on how to make improvised explosive devices (IED).
A national daily reported that Zulkifli, an engineer trained in Washington, was born in 1966 in Muar, Johor, and allegedly heads the Kumpulun Mujahidin Malaysia terrorist organization and is a member of Jemaah Islamiyah central command.
"He has been in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao since August 2003, where he is believed to have conducted bomb-making training for the Abu Sayyaf Group. His younger brother, Taufik bin Abdul Halim, was involved in the 2001 Jakarta Atrium Mall bombing, and currently is in detention in Indonesia," the report added.
On the other hand, Sasa Wharf bombing suspect Toto Akman was convicted by RTC Branch 12 Judge Pelagio Paguican.
The Court of Appeals (CA) in Cagayan de Oro City affirmed the decision of Paguican for the crime of multiple murder and frustrated murder.
The CA also upheld the decision acquitting Akman's co-accused Jimmy Bululao, Tohami Bagundang/Tohami Ulong, Ting Idar and Esmael Mamalangkas.
The CA ordered the increase in damages for the heirs of the victims from P50,000 for civil liability to P75,000; from P50,000 moral damages to P75,000; and P25,000 exemplary damages to P30,000.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 26, 2012.