Misuari liability in Susukan’s arrest ‘highly unlikely’: Palace

Misuari liability in Susukan’s arrest ‘highly unlikely’: Palace

Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari (File photo)

MANILA – Malacañang on Monday said it is “highly unlikely” that Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari will be criminally charged following the reported arrest of Abu Sayyaf sub-commander Abduljihad “Edang” Susukan in his residence in Davao City.

In a virtual Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Misuari “arranged” the surrender of the high-value terror suspect to Davao City Police Office at Misuari’s residence in Yñigue Subdivision in Barangay Ma-a.

“Ang pagkakaintindi ko po it was Chairman Nur Misuari who arranged the surrender, okay, surrender po iyong nangyari ‘no (From how I understand it was Chairman Nur Misuari who arranged the surrender, so a surrender was what happened),” he said.

He suggested that Susukan’s arrest could have been part of the plan.

“Hindi po nahuli si Susukan dahil tinatago ni Nur Misuari, parang hindi po ganoon, parang (Susukan was not arrested because he was hidden by Nur Misuari, it doesn’t seem like it, it’s like) he really arranged that authorities will apprehend Susukan in his residence on that given day,” he said.

Roque, however, admitted that he had little knowledge about the entire incident.

“I do not know for sure kasi wala po akong access to information talaga (because I do not really have access to information),” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been meeting with Misuari as part of their resolve to put an end to the decades-old conflict in Mindanao.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will let the courts decide if Misuari is accountable for allegedly harboring Susukan.

“It will be for the court(s) to appreciate whether that would be tantamount to an offense for coddling Susukan, so we cannot (comment) on that, it’s a matter that is legal and for the courts to appreciate,” AFP spokesperson Marine Major Gen. Edgard Arevalo told reporters on Monday.

PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said only the courts can determine whether Susukan voluntarily surrendered or was arrested by the Davao City Police.

“As to the appreciation of how he was arrested, did he voluntarily surrender, we will lay down the facts to the courts involved. You know, when it comes to like that, it is upon the appreciation of the court. Only the court can determine whether it’s voluntary surrender, arrest or capture prevailing the circumstances that prevail during the incident,” he said in a virtual press briefing on Monday.

On Saturday, Susukan was transferred to the headquarters of the PNP in Camp Crame, Quezon City, and underwent standard documentation procedures and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Susukan has standing arrest warrants for 23 counts of murder, 10 counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, and six counts of frustrated murder.

He is also wanted in Malaysia for cross-border kidnappings on the east coast of Sabah and other criminal activities in Jolo, Sulu. (PNA)

Leave a Reply