Sayyaf Man Linked To Congress Bombing Nabbed In Basilan Island

November 23, 2007 at 6:52 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

LAMITAN CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 23, 2007) – Police arrested a man in the southern province of Basilan implicated in the bombing of the Philippine House of Representative.

The man, surnamed Indama, was believed to be a member of the Abu Sayyaf, the group tagged as behind the Nov. 13 bombing that killed Basilan Representative Wahab Akbar and three other congressional aides. More than a dozen people were also injured in the attack, including two lawmakers.

Officials did not give details of the arrest, but it coincided in heightened security in Basilan after intelligence reports said that one of Akbar’s wives, Cherry Lyn Akbar, the mayor of Isabela City, is the target of an assassination.

Akbar’s other wife, Jum Akbar, the governor of Basilan, has also been provided added security.

“The mayor has a threat to her life and security has been stepped up to protect her from harm and so is the other members of the Akbar families,” Chris Puno, the provincial spokesman, told the Mindanao Examiner.

It was unknown if the arrested man had anything to do with the threats in the life of Akbar. But local television reports said the man was plotting to kill the mayor.

Security forces killed three men implicated in the bombing in a firefight Nov. 15 in Payatas village in Quezon City.

Three other accomplices, one of them, Ikram Indama had an identification card of the House of Representatives and former driver of ex-Basilan Representative Abdulgani Salapuddin, were also arrested.

Salapuddin is a political opponent of Akbar. Soldiers and policemen recovered documents linked to a motorcycle used in the bombing. Police said the bombing targeted Akbar.

Police also charged a fourth suspect, Benjamin Hataman, a cousin of Basilan party-list Representative Mujiv Hataman, also a political foe of Akbar. Both Salapuddin and Hataman denied any participation in the killing of bombing. (Mindanao Examiner)

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