Escaped Batasan blast suspect surrenders


Posted at Oct 07 2008 03:06 PM | Updated as of Oct 07 2008 11:14 PM

The escaped suspect in the bloody Batasan Complex bombing in November 2007 surrendered to a Quezon City judge Tuesday afternoon.

Ikram Indama told ABS-CBN News correspondent Julius Babao that he was able to escape because no one was really securing him at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR), which was located inside Camp Crame, the Philippine National Police's national headquarters.

Indama surrendered to Quezon City court Judge Ralph Lee.

During an interview with Babao, the suspected Abu Sayyaf member denied his alleged participation in the Batasan bombing which killed Basilan Rep. Wahab Akbar and three others.

Indama also cleared former Basilan governor Gerry Salapuddin, a political rival of the late congressman and one of the personalities earlier tagged by the police in the blast.

He said he had also took back his petition to the court to turn him into a state witness. He said he would rather be jailed and charged for the bombing instead of becoming a state witness because he does not have anything to testify.

The suspect also asked authorities to detain him at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City instead of returning him to CIDG-NCR.

Chief Superintendent Raul Castañeda, CIDG director, told reporters Monday that Indama, who was staying with his wife and children at the CIDG-NCR, was reported missing around 5:30 a.m.

Castañeda said the suspect's custodian told him that Indama was still at the CIDG-NCR before he took a bath. "Shortly after taking a bath, the officer noticed that Indama was already missing."

Gonzalez said Indama was supposed to be taken in by the DOJ under its Witness Protection Program.

However, he said the process was stalled after the police found out that Indama was also a suspect in the beheading of several Marines in Basilan last July 2007 or four months before the Batasan blast.

Indama, a former aide and driver of Salapuddin, was arrested along with two others days after the November 13 bombing at the Batasan complex.

The other accused in the bombing were Adham Kusain; Caidar Aunal; former Tuburan, Basilan Mayor Harajun Jamiri; Benjamin Hataman; and Police Officer 1 Bayan Judda.