ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/23 October) – The family of the late Basilan Congressman Wahab Akbar wants the Department of Justice (DOJ) to reconsider its decision clearing some of the accused in killing of Akbar in 2007, including former Anak Mindanao Representative Mujiv Hataman.
Tahira Ismael, former mayor of Lantawan town and niece of Akbar, said Sunday that they were saddened “by the sudden” pronouncement of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima that Hataman has been cleared of the complaint for multiple murder for lack of sufficient evidence.
Hataman is believed to be the likely choice of President Benigno Aquino III for the position of OIC Governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) should the Supreme Court decide with finality its October 18 decision declaring the law synchronizing the supposed August polls in the ARMM with the May 2013 mid-term polls.
Ismael, who serves as the family spokesperson, noted De Lima announced on Wednesday last week that there was a pending complaint for murder filed against Hataman at the DOJ but the justice department cleared the former congressman the net day.
“Ang bilis naman. Ilang oras lang ang nakalipas she announced about the pending complaint, kinabukasan cleared na,” Ismael added.
Aside from Hataman, cleared of criminal liability in connection with the November 13, 2007 bombing at the Batasan Complex were Hadjiman Hataman-Saliman and Julham Kunam for insufficiency of evidence.
In its February 22, 2008 resolution, the DOJ found probable cause to indict for multiple murder and multiple frustrated murder before the Regional Trial Court in Quezon City accused Caidar Aunal, Adham Kusain and Ikram Indama.
Also indicted for the same charges are former Basilan Congressman Abdulgani “Gerry” Salapuddin, Police Officer 1 Bayan Judda, Jaharun Jamiri and Benjamin Hataman.
Six persons, including Akbar, were killed when a powerful bomb exploded at the south wing of the Batasan Complex evening of November 13, 2007.
Salapuddin was accused of masterminding the killing of Akbar.
Ismael said she had high hopes the DOJ will restudy the decision. (MindaNews)