BAGUIO CITY (December 8, 2018) — The Baguio police, still fumbling
for answers who was behind the killing before lunch Thursday of Muslim
cleric Bedejim Abdullah, just a few steps from the main police
headquarters in Kayang St. here, allayed fears of violence in the
city, noting the assassination was isolated.

Already with its standard– Special Investigation Task Group – BCPO
acting city director Senior Superintendent Eliseo Tanding, during a
press briefing said, they are still in the process of establishing
angles which will help in developing what prompted the murder.

A gunman peppered Abdullah, 55, with bullets on the head and body
11:08 Thursday morning “right at the doorstep” of the Islamic
education institution “Discover Islam”.

The Muslim cleric was buried at a Muslim cemetery-project of his dear
friend actor and Muslim covert Robin Padilla, in Norzagaray Bulacan,
Friday morning.

Abdullah’s colleague, “Imam” Samsoden Monib, who swore Abdullah has no
personal enemies nor business interests in the city said, the victim
had been receiving death threats from a fundamentalist Islamic group,
alluding to an “ISIS”-inspired group that wanted him dead.  “Kung ikaw
ay nagpapalaganap ng tamang
katuruan, aasahan na mayroon ibang sektang magtatangka sa iyo,” he explained.

Abdullah, Imam Samsoden claimed,  was not the first Muslim  religious
leader gunned down.  Last year,  another “imam” was reportedly gunned
down by suspected “ISIS”-inspired gunmen in Cavite.

Police however are fumbling into several other possible angles.
“After establishing the motive, this will be followed by the
identification of possible suspects based on CCTV footage and photos
recovered.”  A suspect based on CCTV footage and photos is now being
identified, though investigators believe four persons maybe behind the
murder.

A caliber .45 Remington 1911 pistol, believed to be owned by the
fleeing gunman was recovered at the Magnolia Alley of Maharlikha
Livelihood Center accidentally hitting a sales lady when the gunman
dropped the firearm.

“Together Right,Left Pour Out Calling Justice”

In a rather unusual event in the city, Abdullah’s killing united both
the right and left sectors calling out justice.

The Philippine Military Academy, where Abdullah taught theology,
called on the police to immediately solve his murder.

PMA information chief Lt. Colonel Harry Baliaga Jr. said “the PMA
family along with its graduates condemns the killing of Imam Bedejim.
We encourage the general public to report to the nearest PNP Stations
any possible leads that may provide significant information for the
resolution of this case.”

“The academy deeply regrets the loss of Imam Abdullah and in one with
Baguio Community in expressing its sympathy to the family of Imam
Bedejim Abdullah,” the statement said adding their confidence in the
Philippine National Police in its efforts to apprehend and convict the
persons behind the brutal slay remains.

Bedejim taught at PMA on a voluntary basis and supported the Academy’s
peace-building efforts for 17 years.  “Throughout his service to the
academy, he had always emphasized on working together regardless of
race, religion, and ethnicity in nurturing peace and understanding
towards a God-fearing nation,” Baliaga said.

The left-leaning  Tongtongan ti Umili-Cordillera Peoples Alliance also
deplored Abdullah’s brutal killing vouching that Abdullah was “a
peace-loving individual and was very active in his advocacies.”  He
was instrumental in movements against violent extremism,
extra-judicial killings, environmental destruction and the entry of
casinos in the city, the group said.  “He also built facilitated
harmony and sought unity with other religious groups and was usually
at the forefront of inter-faith dialogue and events.”

But still,  Tongtongan Ti Umili-CPA blamed, “this recent attack
against a religious leader show that Baguio is not spared from the
relentless killings under the Duterte regime.  The president’s
rhetoric of murders and killings has enabled a culture that allows for
anyone, even religious leaders, to become easy targets of
violence—even at the heart of the city, this while perpetrators remain
free and evade responsibility with impunity.” ***Artemio A. Dumlao***