April 19, 2018, 7:51 pm
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Sulu ex-gov’s camp asks for time to answer kidnap raps

FORMER Sulu Gov. Abdusakur M. Tan and three others have requested the Office of the Ombudsman for an extension of 30 days to submit their counter-affidavits in reply to kidnapping and graft complaints filed against them.

The cases were filed in relation to the July 2, 2000 kidnapping of German national and Der Speigel correspondent Andreas Lorenz, in Jolo, Sulu.

In a five-page motion dated Nov. 3, 2017, Tan and private respondents Ahamdjan Hassan, Dolphy Hairal Abdulkahal, and Gulamo Uddin said they received the Ombudsman’s order for them to refute the allegations only last October 26 with a deadline of only 10 days.

Lawyer Ryan Jumaani, counsel for the four, pleaded with the Ombudsman to give him 30 days or until Dec. 6, 2017 to comply, explaining he has yet to talk to his clients and locate witnesses to help shed light on the accusations.

Complainant Temogen Tulawie, in his affidavit filed last May 12 with the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao, accused Tan and the other respondents of kidnapping the German journalist and holding him for ransom. Also implicated in the complaint were Salip Abdulah, a “Commander Daga” and a “Commander Asbi” as well as several unidentified persons.

Lorenz, who was released unharmed after 25 days in captivity, later published an account of his ordeal abroad identifying an alias “Philip” and two other men as his captors.

Tulawie said Philip is Salip Abdullah, whom he met at the residence of then Governor Tan. He submitted a copy of Lorenz’s diary and an affidavit from Der Speigel foreign editor Olaf Ihlau to back his allegations against the respondents.

Ihlau executed his sworn statement last April 12, 2017 before Consul Adrian Elmer S. Cruz of the Philippine Embassy in Berlin for submission to the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Sulu.

In his affidavit, Ihlau said he personally delivered the ransom money in two bags and left them in the house of the respondent former governor after the latter gave assurances that he was in contact with Lorenz’  kidnappers. Ihlau said he executed his affidavit after being informed by a colleague that Tulawie has been accused of being behind the kidnapping of the Der Spiegel correspondent early this year before the Regional Trial Court branch 3 in Jolo.

Tulawie disclosed the pendency of the kidnapping case against him in his complaint to the Ombudsman but pointed out that his accusers are Tan’s personal driver Abdulkahal and long-time employee Hassan.

The complainant and Tan are political rivals, with Tulawie contesting Sulu province’s gubernatorial seat last year with the former governor’s son, incumbent Gov. Abdusakur “Totoh” Tan, emerging victorious. 
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