Parad’s nephew, 6 others charged over ICRC abduction

MANILA, Philippines – A nephew of Abu Sayyaf leader Albader Parad along with six others have been charged in relation to the abduction of three Red Cross (ICRC) workers in southern Philippines almost three months ago, a police spokesman said Monday.

Western Mindanao Police spokesman Superintendent Jose Bayani Gucela identified those slapped with criminal complaints as:

  • PO2 Marcial Ahajan of the Indanan Municipal Police Office;
  • SPO1 Sattal Jadjuli of Patikul Municipal Police Station;
  • SPO3 Muhilmi Ismula of the Sulu Provincial Police Operations Intelligence Section;
  • Alano Mohammad, village chief of Kanaway in Parang town in Sulu;
  • Julhassan Awadi, village chief of Sawaki in Indanan town in Sulu;
  • Hadjirul Bambra, suspected Abu Sayyaf member; and
  • Ibnogajir Hadjirul, suspected Abu Sayyaf member

“They were identified by witnesses as people behind or supported the kidnapping. They allegedly provided financial and logistical support to kidnappers,” Gucela said in a telephone interview.

Gucela said the seven, who all denied involvement in the case, were charged with kidnapping for ransom and serious illegal detention for the abduction of Swiss Andreas Notter, Italian Eugenio Vagni, and Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba last January 15.

Notter, Vagni and Lacaba were all members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). They were abducted after inspecting a water sanitation project in Sulu’s provincial jail.

Terrorist links

Ismula is believed to be the nephew of Parad, who is the spokesman of the Abu Sayyaf group that kidnapped the three Red Cross workers, while Ahajan’s wife is said to be a relative of another slain Abu Sayyaf commander.

Gucela said all the accused are linked to Abu Sayyaf leaders either by blood or by marriage.

The seven are currently detained at the Western Mindanao regional office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in Zamboanga City.

Gucela said the rest of the 23 people invited for questioning over the kidnapping incident were released due to lack of sufficient evidence linking them to the abduction. He added that Parad and other identified Abu Sayyaf members were not included in the charge sheet since authorities have yet to gather affidavits that would be used as evidence against them.

He said the only evidence they have obtained against Parad’s group is a video footage from the media. He said there is a need for them to secure an affidavit of the source media entity first before they could use the footage as evidence.

Gucela added that even Lacaba, who was freed by the bandits last April 2, has yet to issue a statement linking Parad and other bandits to her almost three-month captivity.

Crackdown

Meanwhile, Sulu police chief Julasirim Kasim said the crackdown on Abu Sayyaf supporters would continue “without let-up” in the province.

On Sunday, the government rejected fresh demands from the Abu Sayyaf to pull out military and police forces in Sulu despite Parad’s threat to behead the hostages if the government fails to pull out its forces in at least five areas near the bandits’ stronghold in Indanan town.

According to Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan, who heads the local crisis committee dealing with the bandits, the government cannot totally pull out its troops but he is open to reaching a compromise with the bandits if they free Notter and Vagni.

“Security forces surrounding the terrorists’ hideout can move back a little if the Abu Sayyaf is ready to free the hostages,” Tan said.

The governor placed the province under a state of emergency last March 31 after the bandits’ then 2 p.m. deadline for the total pullout of government troops lapsed.

The Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for a spate of kidnappings for ransom in the past. Authorities said some Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists are among those holding the two Red Cross workers.

Johanna Camille Sisante
with Al Jacinto, GMANews.TV

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Published in: on April 6, 2009 at 6:00 pm  Comments Off on Parad’s nephew, 6 others charged over ICRC abduction  
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