SC affirms conviction of Abus for Valentine's Day bombing

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 26 2011 02:37 PM | Updated as of Jan 27 2011 04:44 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The Supreme Court has affirmed the conviction of 3 Abu Sayyaf members found responsible by a Makati City Trial Court for the Valentine's Day bus bombing in 2005 that killed 4 people and injured 60 others.

The guilt of Gamal Baharan aka Tapay, Angelo Trinidad aka Abu Khalil, and Rohmat Abdurrohim aka Abu Jackie/Zaky was affirmed by the high court on the basis of the testimony of accused-turned-state-witness Gappal Bannah Asali.

Asali testified about an Abu Sayyaf training in bomb-making with the objective of planting bombs in malls, the Light Railway Transit (LRT) and other parts of Metro Manila.

Asali testified that Rohmat trained him on how to make bombs and directed him to secure explosives for the group, while Trinidad and Baharan secured the explosive used in the Valentine's Day bombing from him.

The decision also gave weight to admissions of accused-appellant Trinidad and Baharan in separate interviews with ABS-CBN News about their participation in the crime.

Another government witness, bus conductor Elmer Andales, identified Baharan and Trinidad as the two suspicious-looking men who boarded the ill-fated bus