MANILA – Maguindanao 1st District Rep. Bai Sandra Sema has denied the involvement of her son in the September 2016 Davao City night market bombing that left 15 dead, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said.
“Sabi niya (Rep. Sema) hindi talaga involved iyung anak niya," Alvarez told reporters.
(She insisted that her son was not involved in the bombing.)
Seman’s son, Datu Mohammad Abduljabbar Sema, was arrested on Nov. 24 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport upon his arrival from Bangkok, VERA Files earlier reported.
The younger Sema’s father is Muslimin Sema, chair of a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
President Rodrigo Duterte, in a speech over the weekend, also confirmed the arrest of the two political leaders’ son.
Duterte, however, did not elaborate on the alleged involvement of the younger Sema, reportedly an Islamic scholar, in the Davao blast.
The legal basis for Sema’s detention by Malaysian authorities also remains unclear but Duterte, in his speech before the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, highlighted the close security cooperation between the Philippines and Malaysia.
Sources told ABS-CBN News the younger Sema was identified by the members of the Maute Group who were previously arrested for their alleged involvement in the Davao City bombing.
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said Sema may have provided logistics to the Maute Group, but it remains unclear whether the former was a Maute Group member or operating independently.
Alvarez, for his part, doubts that the younger Sema was indeed involved in the bombing.
“Check muna natin because it does not make sense to me. Yung kasing grupo, yung Maute Group, iilan lang yun. Yung anak ni congressman (Sema) eh yung father MNLF, nasa leadership. So bakit ka naman sasama sa maliit na grupo wherein yung father mo kasama sa malaking grupo?" Alvarez said.
(Let’s check it first because it does not make sense to me. The Maute Group is too small. The son of congressman Sema, his father is also the MNLF leader. So why would he join a small group if his father belongs to a large group?) - with Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News; VERA Files