7 cops involved in arrest of imams relieved – NCMF

Published March 11, 2019, 3:46 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Ali Macabalang

COTABATO CITY – The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) and sympathizers have expressed relief over the recent controversial arrest of three imams in Cagayan Valley, announcing that the seven policemen involved in their apprehension have been transferred to other posts as a form of disciplinary action.

The seven policemen, along with Sr. Insp. Lorvinn Layugan, acting chief of police in Enrile, Tuggugarao, were also transferred to Sulu in what was considered as disciplinary action in the alleged arbitrary arrest early this month of Habib Sirad Ditingcopen, Noraldin Bantuas Lucman, and Mossanip Madaya, all Cagayan Valley-based young imams, the NCMF announced on Sunday.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) “has just informed NCMF-Northern Luzon Director Abdullah Macarimpas and legal team chief Atty. Raihana Sarah Macarimpas” about the disciplinary sanction,” agency spokesman Jun Alonto-Datu Ramos said in a social media post.

“This happened soon after talks between NCMF Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, and Chief PNP General Oscar Albayalde concluded with the NCMF team heading to Tuguegarao (on Sunday to work out the release of the three imams from detention),” Datu Ramos said.

He said the legal team would file Monday the affidavits of the aggrieved imams before a local court where the three religious clerics were charged with alleged possession of shabu.

Maguindanao Assemblyman Khadaffe Mangudadatu, now a member of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR) parliament, also interceded for the imams, and learned that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) charged the clerics with violation of the

Dangerous Drugs Act based on request of the arresting policemen.

But in a video that went viral on social media, the imams averred in tears that the seven arresting policemen allegedly planted sachets of shabu in their car and forced them to drink water laced with the illegal substance.

“The entire Muslim Filipino community would like to thank Secretary Año and General Albayalde for their swift action. Although the fight for justice is still far from over, the NCMF and Secretary Pangarungan assure all Muslim Filipinos that we will never get tired of fighting for the rights of the ummah (global Islamic community,” Datu Ramos said.