Sulu lawmaker, 2 others accused in 2010 failed murder

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Former Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan (left), assisted by his lawyer, Wendell Sotto, signs his complaint in connection to the 2010 suicide bombing at the Zamboanga Airport which he filed before the office of Prosecutor Ricardo Cabaron (center) in Zamboanga City. PHOTO BY AL JACINTO

Former Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan (left), assisted by his lawyer, Wendell Sotto, signs his complaint in connection to the 2010 suicide bombing at the Zamboanga Airport which he filed before the office of Prosecutor Ricardo Cabaron (center) in Zamboanga City. PHOTO BY AL JACINTO

ZAMBOANGA CITY: Former Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan filed a criminal complaint against three persons, including Sulu Rep. Abdulmunir Arbison, for multiple counts of murder and frustrated murder in connection with the August 2010 suicide bombing at the Zamboanga Airport that targeted him and his family.

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Tan, with his lawyer Wendell Sotto, on Monday submitted the complaint-affidavit before Prosecutor Ricardo
Cabaron against Arbison, Maulana Omar and Allan Sabuddin.

Three others implicated in the fatal bombing were former mayors Najib Maldisa, of Maimbung town and Ahmad Nanoh of Pangutaran town; with (Imam) Kasim Tarawi who were all killed in separate attacks in recent years.

Tan and his son Samier – now mayor of Maimbung – survived the suicide bombing, but two persons died from the blast, including the suicide bomber Reynaldo Hapilado, while dozens were wounded in the attack just outside the arrival area.

In his complaint, Tan said: “I honestly and wholeheartedly believe that I was the target of this failed assassination at the Zamboanga airport since more than a year earlier, on 13 May 2009, I was likewise the subject of a separate assassination plot at Gov. Murphy A. Sangkula, Elliptical Road, near the Provincial Capitol of Sulu, which assassination I likewise luckily survived.”

“As I shall hereinafter show and prove, there is absolutely no doubt that Arbison, Omar and Sabuddin, in conspiracy with one another and the late Maldisa, Nanoh and Imam, are the men behind the bombing incident aimed at ending my life and in the process, killing two persons and injuring at least 23 more.”

In March this year, another suspect in the bombing – Addung Salapuddin, alias Addong Salahuddin – surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Manila.

Salapuddin, who has an arrest warrant issued by the Zamboanga City Regional Trial Court Branch 17 in connection with the suicide blast, said he surrendered to the NBI because of threats to his life.

Tan’s lawyer was informed that a final report had already been submitted by the special task force to then NBI Director Virgilio Mendez and was eventually forwarded to the Office of the Secretary of Justice by the new NBI Director Dante Gierran on July 18, 2016.

In his complaint, Tan said Salapuddin recounted that it was Tarawi who recruited him to assassinate the governor. Salapuddin allegedly confessed that the men behind the failed assassination were Arbison, Nanoh, Maldisa, Omar and a man identified as Sabuddin, who was the driver of the vehicle that transported the explosives. The vehicle was eventually identified as being allegedly owned by the Nanoh family.

There was no immediate statement from Arbison and the others accused by Tan. Al Jacinto

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