Basilan TESDA director nabbed while visiting house with explosives materials

Michael Joe Delizo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 25 2019 05:13 PM

TESDA-Basilan director Muida Hataman. PNP-CIDG

MANILA -- Police on Tuesday arrested the provincial director of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Basilan after she was caught inside a house that allegedly contained ammunition and explosives.

Muida Hataman, TESDA-Basilan Director, was “visiting” a house that was the subject of a search warrant in Barangay San Rafael, Isabela City at around 4 in the morning, said Philippine National Police spokesperson Col. Bernard Banac, national police spokesman.

The owner of the house was unknown. 

“Naroon lang siya sa bahay bilang bisita. Hindi siya talaga ang nagma-may-ari ng gamit pampasabog,” Banac clarified. “Subalit dahil sa search warrant at siya ang nadatnan doon ay siya po ay naaresto.”

(She was only there as a visitor. She is not really the owner of the devices for explosives. But because of the search warrant and she was there, she was arrested.)

“Batay ito sa mga impormasyon na natanggap ng Philippine National Police na may mga gamit pampasabog na nakatago sa nasabing lugar, at inabot po doon ang suspect,” Banac told reporters in Camp Crame. 

(This is based on the information received by the Philippine National Police that there were explosive materials for explosives in the said area, and we caught the suspect there.)

An electric blasting cap, a 9 volt battery, a 40-mm ammunition, a projectile 766-mm with protruding wire, a hand-held radio, 4 cellular phones, and 2 laptops were seized from the house.

Banac said authorities were verifying Hataman’s possible links to the extremist Abu Sayyaf Group. She denied the charge.

The suspect was brought to the CIDG Regional Office in Zamboanga City and will be charged with illegal possession of explosives.