BAGUIO CITY — The Baguio City Police Office filed a murder charge against the suspect for the assassination of Imam Bedejim Abdullah one year and a month after the brutal killing.

On January 6, the BCPO filed the case at the City Prosecutor’s Office against Joselito Fernando Vidad. The suspect, according to the police, is from Zamboanga City and a Muslim revert or a “Balik Islam.”

BCPO chief Police Colonel Allen Rae Co said that they identified the suspect from the CCTV footage and a witness description of the assassin. The official added the search for the killer of the Muslim cleric would commence once they receive the warrant.

The police are looking at two angles for the murder — the divergent view in interpreting the Qur’an or a personal grudge.

Abdullah was shot at close range in the head and body right at the doorstep of an Islamic education institution along Kayang Street at the Baguio City Public Market. The incident happened in the daytime of December 6, 2018. The suspect fled on foot after the shooting.

A well-loved leader of the Muslim community, Abdullah was active in various social concerns in the city. He is also known as an educator, environmentalist, sportsman, and social activist.

The murder drew widespread condemnation from the different sectors and groups in the city. Hundreds of Muslims and Christians attended the prayer rally for peace and justice of the slain cleric days after the incident. The Commission on Human Rights also launched an independent probe.

Days after the killing, Abdullah’s colleague, “Imam” Samsoden Monib, said the victim had no personal enemies nor business interests in the city. He also revealed that Abdullah had been receiving death threats from a fundamentalist Islamic organization, alluding to an “ISIS-inspired” group.

Samsoden said that Abdullah was not the first Muslim religious leader killed by “ISIS-inspired” assassins. In 2017, another suspected member of the group gunned down an imam in Cavite. # nordis.net

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