Comelec indicts former Lugus mayor for gun ban violation, threats in Sulu PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 27 December 2015 15:34

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has directed its Law Department to indict a former municipal mayor of Lugus, Sulu and his several men for committing an election offense during the May 2013 synchronized national, local and ARMM automated elections.

The Comelec en banc headed by Chairman Andres Bautista found a probable cause to indict Abdusali Asmadun and his 40 unidentified companions for prohibiting their political rivals from posting lawful campaign materials in five barangays in Lugus on April 7, 2013.

In a four-page resolution promulgated on Oct. 27, 2015, the Comelec stated that the act of Asmadun as alleged by complainants led by Nurjia Ingoh of Barangay Siburi, Siasi, Sulu, is blatant violation of Sec. 6 of Comelec Resolution No. 9615 under Republic Act No. 9006, otherwise known as the “Fair Election Act.”

The Comelec said the act of prohibiting the distribution and dissemination of lawful election propaganda in some Barangays in Lugus, Sulu run against the provision of R.A. 9006 considering the fact the respondents were former mayor and his son incumbent mayor (Al-Zhudurie Asmadun) who is also also a candidate.

In his counter affidavit, Asmadun instead of answering the allegations in the complaint rebutted on more technicality. He also alleged he did not threaten and prevented the complainants to post the campaign materials of Hj. Hadar Hajiri, a candidate for mayoral race in Lugus town.

‘’However records clearly show that he (Asmaddun) prevented the complainants in posting the material of Hajri in five barangays (Lugus proper, Bas Nunok, Huwit-Huwit, Bas Lugus, and Tingkangan) as his interview was recorded by the media,” the resolution said.

“Moreover, the sworn statement of Fidencio Yu Castro Sr. who is a member of the media present in the area during the incident and who happened to record his interview with the former mayor (Asmadun) proves that he prevented the complainants from posting campaign materials of Hajiri,” it continued.

The resolution added Asmadun’s son, Al-Zhuduri, the incumbent mayor of Lugus did not file his answer or counter affidavit despite due notice served, the resolution further stated.

The election investigating officer recommended that after thorough evaluation of the entire records of the case is of the belief that respondents Asmadun and his son, the incumbent mayor, violated the provisions of R.A. 9006 as implemented by Comelec Resolution No. 9615.

The Commission En Banc finds that there is sufficient ground to sustain the charges against Asmadun and his forty armed companions on account of the April 7, 2013 incident.

“The witnesses’ affidavits, video footage and Sulu Provincial Police Office blotter excerpts, which are considered integral part of the complaint, present sufficient grounds to file an information against Asmadun, et al.”

In the joint affidavits of complainants, Pinnahari Kalim, Nurjia Ingoh and sworn statement of Castro positively identified Asmadun as the one carrying two pistols tucked on his waist while his 40 unidentified companions were brandishing high-powered and long firearms.

This was corroborated by the Sulu PPO police blotter excerpt dated April 11, 2013. “Clearly, the evidences submitted by the complainants are sufficient to establish a prima face case and sustain the charges against respondent Asmadun, et al,” the election investigating officer said.

The Commission, however, took cognizance of the fact that the complaint-affidavits and the evidences submitted have not proven even the slightest participation of respondent Al-Zhudurie in said April 7, 2013 incident.

Comelec chair Bautista and six commissioners — Christian Robert Lim, Luie Tito Guia, Rowena, Amelia Guanzon, Al Parreño, Arthur Lim, and Sheriff Abas — sign the four page resolution. — HG