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Congress blast witness surrenders

Posted by Abi Kwok on October 7, 2008


Indama a suspect anew, recants testimony

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 14:54:00 10/07/2008


MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE 4) The suspect-turned-state witness in the bombing at the House of Representatives last year is now back to being a suspect after recanting on his testimony against a former lawmaker whom he implicated in the incident that killed a political rival and three others.

At the same time, Ikram Indama said he no longer wanted to be under the government’s witness protection program and would rather be jailed.

In a live radio interview Tuesday, Indama claimed that he was forced by alleged enemies of former congressman Gerry Salapuddin to testify against the legislator, considered the fiercest rival in Basilan of Wahab Akbar, former governor-turned-lawmaker, who was killed in the bombing in November 2007.

Indama was the former driver of Salapuddin.

In a phone interview, Indama told that he decided to leave the quarters of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR) early Monday because he was “bored” and “pressured” by policemen in Camp Crame.

“Kasi ayaw ko na ng witness protection program. Na-pressure ako eh [I no longer want to be under the witness protection program. I was pressured],” Indama said.

But when asked how he was pressured, Indama said, “Wala naman silang ginagawa sa akin [They’re not doing anything to me].” He added that he was able to move “freely” inside his CIDG-NCR quarters.

So Indama decided to leave at around 6 a.m. Monday, taking advantage of the alleged lapse of security and then taking the five-minute walk from the CIDG-NCR office to the Santolan gate in Camp Crame to board a taxi.

Indama then went to his home in Fairview, Quezon City where he said he “wiled away his time” before deciding to surrender.

“Sumuko ako kasi natakot ako na gagawin daw akong [I became scared because I was told that I was going to be made into a] suspect,” Indama said over the phone.

So he once again took a cab to the Quezon City Hall where he, with his counsel Alberto Din, presented themselves before Judge Ralph Lee of Branch 83 of the Quezon City regional trial court at 12:30 noon Tuesday, said Superintendent Nestor Abalos of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).

Indama was then turned over to Abalos.

Abalos insisted that it was Indama himself who wanted to be jailed.

“Personal na desisyon niya un, kusang-loob din siya sumuko [It was his personal decision. He surrendered on his own],” Abalos said.

He described Indama as “very relaxed.” Indama is now detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.

With a report from Julie Aurelio, Inquirer


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