Survivors, victims’ kin file raps vs V-Day bombers
- Jose Rodel Clapano () - March 9, 2005 - 12:00am
The Department of Justice (DOJ), the families of four people who died in the Valentine’s Day bomb attack in Makati City and 63 others who were wounded in the bombings filed a complaint yesterday against Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khaddafy Janjalani before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco, who led the plaintiffs, said Janjalani’s co-accused in the complaint for "gross human rights violations" include Angelo Trinidad, who also goes by the aliases Gappal Bana, Boy Negro, Abu Khalil and Maidan; Gamal Baharan, alias Tapay; Jainal Sali, alias Abu Solaiman; a certain "Zaky" and two other unidentified suspects.

Velasco said in the complaint that he "accuses the above-named respondents (Janjalani et al) of committing gross violations of Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (and) Article 6 Section 1 of the Philippine Constitution in connection with their role(s) in the Valentine’s Day bombing."

The accused will be arraigned at the Makati City regional trial court branch 62, in the sala of Judge Selma Palacio-Alaran on March 14.

Velasco said that, under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person," a right that the covenant states "shall be protected by law."

The Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution provides that "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law..."

Velasco also earlier filed multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder and illegal possession of explosives charges against the accused before the Makati RTC.

He also filed charges of illegal possession of ammunition and explosives against Baharan.

He said only Baharan and Trinidad are detained at Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. The other accused remain at large.

Velasco has recommended that bail be denied for all the accused.

Court records showed that Baharan and Trinidad were arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Task Force on Feb. 21 on the strength of an arrest warrant issued on Oct. 7, 2004 by Judge Danilo Bucoy.

The warrant for their arrest was issued in connection with charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with ransom lodged against them as the co-accused of Janjalani filed before the Isabela, Basilan RTC.

Baharan is among those listed in the gallery of most wanted men put together by the Philippine and United States governments for murder, extortion and kidnapping. He was named among the accused in the warrant issued by Bucoy.

Trinidad was positively identified by state witnesses Julrashey Abtahi and Omar Pael in an affidavit dated Jan. 10.

The ammunition and explosives seized from Baharan at the time of his arrest in Mandaluyong City include five boxes of .45-caliber ammunition; three boxes of blasting caps; 52 feet of time fuse; one box of relays; C-4 detonation paraphernalia; one hand grenade M26A9; and trinitrotoluene and accessories for detonating TNT.

Jose Marie Dulong, Rosario Mercado, Bernardo Rosarito and Ronnie Soriano were the four people killed in the Valentine’s Day attack in Makati City, Velasco said.

He added that shortly before the explosion, Sali announced over radio station dzBB that the Abu Sayyaf had a Valentine’s Day "gift" for President Arroyo.

The bomb exploded in a bus located under the Ayala station of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), a few hundred meters from the Hotel Intercontinental, where the President and her family were scheduled to have a Valentine’s Day dinner.

"After the bombing, (Sali) went again on (the air on) dzBB radio station and warned of more bomb attacks," Velasco said. "(Sali) went on dzBB radio minutes before the attack to advise the public to get ready for a Valentine’s Day greeting for President Arroyo. After the blast, (Sali) promised more attacks.

Velasco said that, prior to his arrest, Trinidad also "categorically, freely and candidly confessed" his part in the bombing in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN’s "News Patrol."

According to Velasco, Trinidad said "he was bothered by his conscience." The following day (Baharan), in another exclusive interview with ABS-CBN "News Patrol," likewise voluntarily admitted his alleged role in the incident.

Velasco said the admissions made on the air by Baharan and Trinidad would be admissible in court, citing jurisprudence.

RRCG bus conductor Elmer Jose Andes positively identified Baharan and Trinidad as the two suspicious-looking men who boarded the bus and hurriedly fled from it minutes before the bomb exploded, Velasco added.

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