The Pasig RTC Branch 261 found the 66 Abu Sayyaf gunmen guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention and sentenced them to life in prison for seizing 52 teachers and students from two schools in Tumahubong in Sumisip on March 20, 2000.
Miguel De Guzman
66 Abu Sayyaf men convicted over Basilan kidnapping
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - December 15, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Pasig City regional trial court (RTC) yesterday convicted more than 60 Abu Sayyaf extremists over the kidnapping of several villagers, including school children, in Basilan in 2000.

The Pasig RTC Branch 261 found the 66 Abu Sayyaf gunmen guilty of kidnapping and serious illegal detention and sentenced them to life in prison for seizing 52 teachers and students from two schools in Tumahubong in Sumisip on March 20, 2000.

The court also ordered the 66 to pay P180,000 each in civil, moral and exemplary damages to the victims and their families.

The court said 29 of the accused were found guilty of all 52 counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

One of the accused was found guilty of committing 44 counts of the same crime but eight of them were acquitted.

Ten were found guilty of 41 counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, but they were acquitted of 11 counts of the same offense. There were also 12 Abu Sayyaf members found guilty of 18 counts of the same offense, but were acquitted of 34 other counts. 

The court added 11 of them were found guilty of seven counts and were cleared in 45 other cases. As for three found guilty of 11 counts, they were acquitted in 41 other counts. 

The court also mentioned that 20 of those accused were acquitted and did not take part in any of the 52 counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention.  

Among those originally charged were Abu Sayyaf leaders Khadaffy Janjalani, Aldam Tilao alias Abu Ahmad Sabaya, Isnilon Hapilon and Hector Janjalani.

Khadaffy, Tilao, and Hapilon were killed in separate encounters with government forces, while Janjalani is currently detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig. 

Justice Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong said the Pasig court opted not to disclose the names of two of the 66 who were convicted because they have another pending case in court that would be promulgated after Christmas. 

The 66 took part in the kidnapping of officials, teachers and students of Sinangkapan Elementary School and Tumahubong Elementary School in Sumisip.

The captives were herded to a house in Puno Mahadji in a remote jungle surrounding the towns of Sumisip, Maluso and Isabela.

Four of the victims, including Fr. Rhoel Gallardo and three teachers, were found dead on May 3, 2000, their bodies bearing signs of torture. – With Non Alquitran

ABU SAYYAF EXTREMISTS
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with