Widow, sons of slain mayoralty bet in Maguindanao charged for obstruction of justice

Scene of the crime operatives on the road outside the mosque on Friday, 30 September 2022. On the left side (in red) is the gunman who was killed by security escorts of Datu Jamael Sinsuat, Sr. Barangay chair of Dalican who ran for mayor in the May 2022 polls but lost to a nephew. The gunman shot Sinsuat as he was boarding his car after attending the Friday prayers. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH B. CABRERA

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 05 December) – In a strange turn of events, police authorities have filed charges for alleged obstruction of justice against the widow and two sons of a defeated mayoralty candidate in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte who was killed on Sept. 30.

Colonel Noel Sermese, police provincial director, said the Special Investigation Task Group Datu Jam has filed the charges against Bai Monessa Sinsuat, the widow of Datu Jamael “Jam” Sinsuat, and her sons Datu Jamael Sinsuat Jr. and Datu Abdul Hakim Sinsuat.

“They refused to turn over the firearm used by the gunman who shot dead Datu Jam,” Sermese said, referring to the pistol that reportedly remained in the custody of Bai Monessa and her two sons.

He said the victim’s family ignored requests from the task group to turn over the pistol recovered from the slain gunman.

“The pistol used in killing Datu Jam is very vital in our investigation,” the police official said.

Lawyer Kervin Batulan, legal counsel of the victim’s family, said he is yet to receive official copies of the complaint. He promised to give an update as soon as he reads the complaint.

Earlier, the family filed charges against 15 persons, including Datu Odin Sinsuat Mayor Lester Sinsuat, his wife Maguindanao Vice Governor Bai Ainee Sinsuat, the former police station chief and his subordinates, for the killing of Datu Jam.

The victim, a former village chair, lost his bid for mayor in the May 9, 2022 elections as the candidate of the United Bangsamoro Justice Party, the political party of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

He was shot as he emerged from the mosque located a few meters from the town police station last Sept. 30. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)