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Ex-Sulu Gov airs appeal

  • Written by Peoples Journal
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 204

FORMER Sulu Gov. Abdusakur M. Tan and his three co-respondents have asked the Office of the Ombudsman
to extend for 30 days the submission of their counter-affidavits to respond to the kidnapping and
graft complaints filed against them.

This was an offshoot of the order issued by the Office of Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao
requiring them to answer complaints of kidnapping with ransom for the abduction of German national and
Der Spiegel correspondent Andreas Lorenz in July 2000 in Jolo, Sulu.
    
Tan and private respondents Ahamdjan Hassan, Dolphy Hairal Abdulkahal, and Gulamo Uddin
explained in their five-page motion dated November 3, 2017 that they just received the order for them
to defend themselves on the allegations last October 26 with a deadline of only 10 days.
    
Atty. Ryan Jumaani, counsel for the four respondents, appealed to the Ombudsman to allow his
clients 30 more days or until December 6, 2017 to respond.
    
Lorenz went to Jolo in July 2000 to cover the Sipadan hostage crisis. While he was covering
the news, Lorenz was kidnapped by a person named Philipp, whom he allegedly first met at the residence
of Tan.
    
In his affidavit-complaint, Temogen S. Tulawie, a peace and human rights advocate, accused Tan
and the other respondents of kidnapping the German journalist and holding him for ransom.
    
Aside from the accused, also implicated in the complaint were Salip Abdulah, a “Commander
Daga” and a “Commander Asbi” as well as several unidentified persons.
    
Later, Lorenz, who was released unharmed after 25 days in captivity, made a published account
of his ordeal abroad identifying an alias “Philip” and two other men as his captors.
    
According to Tulawie, Philip is Salip Abdullah whom the victim met at the residence of then
Governor Tan.
    
Tulawie submitted a copy of Lorenz’s diary and an affidavit from Der Speigel Foreign Editor
Olaf Ihlau to back his allegations against the respondents.
    
Ihlau executed his sworn statement last April 12, 2017 before Consul Adrian Elmer S. Cruz of
the Philippine Embassy in Berlin for submission to the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Sulu.
    
Based on his affidavit, Ihlau said he allegedly personally delivered the ransom money in two
bags and left them in the house of the respondent former governor after the latter gave assurances
that he was in contact with Lorenz’s kidnappers.
    
Ihlau said he executed his affidavit after being informed by a colleague that Tulawie has been
accused of being behind the kidnapping of Lorenz early this year before the Regional Trial Court
branch 3 in Jolo.