High Court affirms life sentence for 17 Abus PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 03 July 2011 16:51

The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed the penalty of life imprisonment against 17 members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who were involved in the kidnapping of hospital workers in Basilan province in 2001.

In a 14-page ruling penned by Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta, the SC affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) convicting the accused.
Some of the accused such as Khadaffy Janjalani and Abu Sabaya could no longer be prosecuted because they are already dead.

The SC affirmed the reclusion perpetua sentence against Urban Salcedo, alias Wahid Guillermo Salcedo; Abdurahman Ismael Diolagla, alias Abu Sahrin; Abdulajid Ngaya, alias Abu Ajid; Haber Asari, alias Abu Habs; Absmar Aluk, alis Abu Adzmar or Abu Aluk; Bashier Abdul, alias Abu Jar; Toting Hano, alias Abu Jakaria; Jaid Awalal, alias Abu Jaid;

Mubin Ibbah, alias Abu Black; Annik/Renne Abbas, alias Abu Annik; Margani Hapilon Iblong, alias Abu Nadim; Lidjalong Sakandal/Sabandal; Imran Hakimin y Sulaiman, alias Abu Imran; Nadzmer Isnani Mandangan, alias Abu Harun; Kamar Jaafar, alias Abu Jude; Sonny Asali, alias Abu Teng or Abu Umbra; and Bashier Ordonez, alias Abu Bashier.

The SC ruled that the defense of the accused ASG members was insufficient to prove their innocence in the kidnapping of nurses Ediborah Yap, Shiela Tabunag, Reina Malonzo, and hospital accountant Joel Guillo in June 2001 at the Jose Maria Torres Memorial Hospital in Lamitan, Basilan.

“Accused-appellants proferred defenses are sorely wanting when pitted against the prosecution’s evidence. It is established jurisprudence that denial and alibi cannot prevail over the witnesses’ positive identification of the accused-appellants,” said the SC’s ruling promulgated on June 22, 2011.

”More so where, as in the present case, the accused-appellants, failed to present convincing evidence that it was physically impossible for them to have been present at the crime scene at the time of the commission thereof,” the SC said.