Aggrieved Sinsuat family indicted for justice obstruction

By Ali G. Macabalang

COTABATO CITY – In a twist of trend, justice-seeking family members of slain former Datu Odin Sinsuat (DOS), Maguindanao del Norte mayoral aspirant Jamael Q. Sinsuat Sr. are now indicted for alleged “obstruction of justice” for failure to submit to authorities the gun used in the killing of their patriarch, according to reports.

Higher authorities had formed a special investigation task group (STIG) to probe the killing of Jamael while boarding his car parked near a mosque in his turf where he joined a Friday congregational prayer last Sept. 30. A gunman exiting from the mosque shot him behind using a cal. 45 pistol. Security escorts had fired back and killed the alleged gunman, published accounts said.

Jamael’s family led by wife Monessa with lawyer Kevin Batulan, filed last November 11 a murder case against  at least 15 suspects at the provincial prosecution office here last November 11. The lawyer accompanied by Jamael’s elder siblings held a press conference here on the same day, hinting at alleged “conspiracy” in the victim’s killing.

The lawyer would not name the people listed in the charge sheet. But information leaked to the media showed ruling politicians and some policemen as suspects in the killing of Jamael, a former Barangay Poblacion chairman, who ran under the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) but lost in the DOS mayoralty race last May 9.

Twist of event

On Monday, Dec. 5, the online Kutangbato news network reported a police complaint of alleged “obstruction of justice” against widow Monessa and her two sons, Jamael Jr. and Hakim.

The three were indicted by the investigators belonging to the SITG for not submitting to the probe body the pistol that was reportedly recovered from the still unnamed dead gunman by Jamael’s escorts last Sept. 30, the local news team said, citing its interview with Col. Noel Remese, Maguindanao police director.

Remese reportedly said the SITG had long demanded for the surrender of the gun being an essential piece of evidence in its investigation of the September killing. But the widow and her two sons did not surrender the pistol, he claimed.

Lawyer Batulan, the widow’s legal counsel, would not comment yet on the SITG indictment pending their receipt of an official copy of the complaint against his clients. (AGM)

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