ZAMBOANGA CITY (Updated) -- Police could not find a former Basilan congressman who was tagged as one of the suspects in a deadly blast that killed five people at the Batasan complex in November 2007.
Basilan deputy police chief Abubakar Tulawie said on Monday that operatives tried to serve the arrest warrants on former congressman Gerry Salapuddin over the weekend but he was not around in his two last known addresses.
Tulawie said the former lawmaker has two houses in Basilan but he was nowhere to be found in both houses on Saturday. These houses are located in Lamitan and Isabela City.
Household members of the Salapuddins were also mum on the whereabouts of the former lawmaker, he added.
Tulawie, meanwhile, said they will ask the court to issue a hold departure order against Salapuddin and six other accused.
Salapuddin, who was former House deputy Speaker for Mindanao, is facing charges of multiple murder and frustrated murder for the November 13, 2009 bombing at the Batasan Complex in Quezon City.
Among the six people who were killed in the blast was former Basilan congressman Wahab Akbar, the late husband of incumbent Basilan Governor Jum Akbar.
Seven people were also hurt, including Pryde Henry Teves, a lawmaker from Negros Occidental.
Judge Ralph Lee of Quezon City Regional Trial Court branch 28 issued the arrest order Friday, noting the Supreme Court's failure to issue directive to cease and desist from moving forward the case.
Salapuddin asked the high tribunal to review the Court of Appeals' decision finding probable cause against him.
Lee withdrew the earlier issued arrest warrant against Salapuddin after the former Secretary of Justice found that there was no probable cause against the former congressman. The same findings, however, by the justice department were eventually reversed by the Court of Appeals. (Sunnex)