Court lauded for action taken on Sulu arson rap PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 April 2013 10:47

The chief complainant in the case against a municipal mayor in Sulu province, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, (ARMM) expressed thanks for the wisdom of the court saying that after six years of elusive pursuit, “the wheel of justice has started rolling and finally been served” even as he looks forward to finding consolation for his sacrifice and displacement as a consequence of an incident that happened in his home barangay in the Municipality of Tongkil (now Banguingui), Sulu in 2007.

Hadji Ridwan Omar, the main complainant in a case against Mayor Abdulwahid Sahidulla of Tongkil, Sulu, said he has found that long-sought relief after the Regional Trial Court in Sulu has established sufficient probable cause to try the respondent local chief executive for arson.

His complaint stemmed from the incident when Barangay Sigumbal in Tongkil was allegedly attacked in 2007 by heavily-armed men, burned in the course of the incident some 100 houses and in the aftermath, displaced at least 100 families with an estimated more than 1,000 household members.

Barangay Sigumbal is the home place of Omar and the other victims who claimed that their houses, properties and livelihood got burned, destroyed and forcibly abandoned as they fled to safer areas.

“We (complainants) find consolation in feeling that the voices of the oppressed are now being heard and we hope that justice can be our indispensable guarantee in rebuilding our lives again,” Omar said after attending the hearing on the motion to quash filed by the lawyer of Mayor Sahidulla in Jolo last week.

“We also pray that our respected pillars and enforcers of the law and justice will no longer find weight in the counter arguments and speedily decide on the case so that our thirst for justice in the past six years cannot be laid to waste.”     It can be recalled that government prosecutors earlier issued a subpoena to the mayor and other respondents in view of the complaint by Omar.  They promptly filed their respective counter-affidavits and a preliminary investigation was conducted. The result, however, showed the existence of probable cause against the respondents, for which Presiding Judge Alsad H. Alfad, Jr. of the RTC, 9th Judicial Region Branch 25- Siasi, Sulu subsequently issued a warrant for their arrest in a case docketed as Criminal Case No. 476-25 for Arson. — PR