Son of Moro leader nabbed in Malaysia over Davao City blast

In a separate case, South Korean Park Chul Hong (left) and Filipino Glenn Alindajao were released by suspected militants yesterday. Both were abducted from a cargo ship last year.
In a separate case, South Korean Park Chul Hong (left) and Filipino Glenn Alindajao were released by suspected militants yesterday. Both were abducted from a cargo ship last year.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

PETALING JAYA • The son of a leader of Philippine separatist group Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is being detained in Malaysia in connection with the Davao City bombing last September, the media reported yesterday.

Datu Mohammad Abduljabbar Sema, 26, was arrested on Nov 24 last year at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport upon his arrival from Bangkok, according to a report by Vera Files.

Datu Mohammad is the son of Muslimin Sema, chairman of the largest group in the MNLF, and Ms Bai Sandra Sema, congresswoman of the first district of Maguindanao.

Vera Files, founded in March 2008, is published by Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues.

Datu Mohammad, an Islamic scholar, had been travelling to and from Bangkok, and exiting to Cambodia. However, when his 30-day visa-free entry was about to expire, he travelled to Malaysia, with the intention of returning to Thailand after three days.

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We were almost hopeless, but I am thankful we were able to come home safely.

FILIPINO CREWMAN GLENN ALINDAJAO, on his three-month abduction ordeal.

He was arrested upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur, where he was placed under Malaysian custody in an undisclosed location.

Vera Files said Datu Mohammad's mother is currently seeking his release through a pardon from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, while his father has sought the assistance of presidential peace process adviser Jesus Dureza.

Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines will request the custody of Datu Mohammad.

"Of course, of course, we will request so that we can bring him back to the country," he said.

Separately, a South Korean boat captain and a Filipino crewman abducted by suspected militants off the southern Philippines were released yesterday, the authorities said, ending a three-month ordeal where they endured beatings and hunger.

The Philippine military said armed men identifying themselves as Abu Sayyaf militants kidnapped the pair from a South Korean cargo ship in October last year, the first such attack on a large merchant vessel.

Mr Jesus Dureza, a senior aide to Mr Duterte, met the freed hostages in Sulu, a remote archipelago known as a militant hideout, and took them to Davao, a city about 600km from Sulu.

Filipino crewman Glenn Alindajao, 31, said in a news briefing: "We were almost hopeless, but I am thankful we were able to come home safely."

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 15, 2017, with the headline 'Son of Moro leader nabbed in Malaysia over Davao City blast'. Print Edition | Subscribe