Truth on House blast will prevail – Rep. Hataman

“There’s no reason why I would do it (killing of Akbar),” Anak Mindanao Rep. Hajiv Hataman told MindaNews after the turnover ceremony for the P1-million Royal House of Justice here funded from his Priority Development Assistance Fund.

Hataman graced the inauguration and turnover of the Royal House of Justice to the officers of the Sibugay Islamic Council of Elders.

“Marami kasi siyang kaaway at mahirap magturo kung sino ang pumatay (He had many enemies and it is very difficult to pinpoint the killer),” the lawmaker explained minutes before he entered the mosque near the newly inaugurated building to pray.

Considering the strict security measures around the Batasan complex where the House of Representatives is located, “the accusation that I ordered the bombing is incredible.”

“Besides, why I should do that to him?” he asked but added, “I will not dwell on telling what I believe were the real motives of the perpetrators of his (Akbar) death because I am also a suspect.”

“We are on business as usual because we cannot afford to deprive our people of much needed services,” he said.

Hataman was Akbar’s chief of staff when the latter was still the governor of Basilan.

“It was a matter of principle,” the congressman said when asked on the reported rift between him and Akbar.

Together with former Basilan Rep. Gerry Salapuddin, Hataman and his brother Hadjiman "Jim" Hataman submitted to Senior State Prosecutor Peter Ong their affidavits responding to the criminal complaints filed by the police Thursday.

The arrival of the respondents at the DoJ was attended by heavy security. Several policemen were seen at the DoJ gate along with members of a Special Weapons and Tactics team.

The PNP through Senior Superintendent Asher Dolina submitted its opposition to the motion of the respondents seeking to expunge from the records the statements of former Tuburan, Basilan Mayor Hajarun Jamiri, Ong said.

Jamiri is also facing criminal complaints before the DoJ in connection with the November 13 blast and had initially executed a statement identifying the Hataman brothers as those who had induced him to kill Akbar.

He later recanted his statement and accused the police of torturing him and forcing him to sign two documents. Bombing suspects Caidar Aunal and Adham Kusain also withdrew the statements they had made earlier and denied that they were involved in the blast. (Antonio M. Manaytay/MindaNews contributor)