Saturday, October 30, 2010

Civilians offer selves, prayers to protect Sulu governor from assassins

SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 30, 2010) - Supporters of Sulu Governor Sakur Tan have urged authorities to heightened the politician's security and protect his family after government prosecutors junked criminal charges filed against suspects in the failed assassination of the influential leader.

Prosecutors said there were not enough evidence against the suspects, but Tan's lawyers said they would appeal the decision.

Tan's supporters have urged police and military to provide additional security to the governor, saying, hired assassins could strike again. They also vollunteered to provide 24 hours security in Tan's house in Sulu.

"Authorities should provide ample security to Governor Tan and his family and ensure their safety," said Abdullah, one of Tan's supporters.

But an aide of Tan said the governor politely declined the offer and only thanked his supporters. "God is the protector of the governor. Prayers of the people are powerful enough to protect the governor from evil," said Ibno Hasan.

Tan was among over two dozen people wounded in the August 5 suicide bombing outside the Zamboanga International Airport in Zamboanga City.

The bomber, Reynaldo Apilado, and Hatimil Haron, one of his cohorts, were killed in the blast. At least a dozen people had been implicated in the failed assassination, police said.

Tan, a known philanthropist and religious man, also survived a roadside bombing last year in Sulu province, but ten of his companions, including a town mayor, were wounded in the attack.

One of the suspects in the bombing, Abner Tahil alias Abs was arrested late last month in the village of Kasangyangan in Jolo town in Sulu. Tahil was also implicated in the Zamboanga airport bombing.

Police said the two failed assassinations of Tan were all politically motivated and that Abu Sayyaf militants with links to Jemaah Islamiya terror group were hired to carry out the attacks. (Mindanao Examiner)

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