BAGUIO CITY— The Muslim community here has put up a PHP1-million bounty for information on the identity and arrest of those responsible for the murder of Imam Bejedim Abdullah, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said in a late afternoon press conference on Tuesday.
“The muslim community has raised a bounty for the assailant of our Muslim preacher, Bejedim Abdullah, then the city police formed task group Bedejim who are doing their best to solve the case,” Domogan said.
Bedejim was shot while walking towards the Kayang Business Center located on Kayang Street in the city’s public market around 11 a.m. on December 6. He suffered five gunshot wounds — two in the head and three in the body. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) by the attending physician.
The mayor said he has called for a meeting with Muslim community leaders in the city, together with the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos-Northern Luzon led by legal officer Yaser Guru, who assured the local chief executive that that they will close their ranks against any activity that would disrupt the peaceful and harmonious relationship they have established with the locals, in the aftermath of the death of one of their preacher.
The mayor added that the Muslim community had said that they will rally to demonstrate their sentiment on their preacher’s killing but was convinced that it will not help.
The Muslim community instead conducted a prayer rally over the weekend.
Domogan sought the Muslim community’s help in quelling any restiveness that may have been building as a result of the killing, even as he assured that the city government and the City Police are exerting their best efforts to solve the case.
The mayor also sought the help of the community for any information that may lead to the identification and capture of the gunman.
“None in the Muslim community can identify the gunman, whose face was already known. We are asking the public to share the post of the face of the suspect for more people to see and hopefully help identify the person,” Domogan said.
The police, over a week ago, had said that a .40-caliber Glock with serial number BEKX695 and two magazines loaded with 32 live ammunition and one dummy bullet were found with the victim.
Bedejim was an advocate of peace and order. He was also a preacher at the Philippine Military Academy. He was seen walking when a male suspect, who was caught on CCTV wearing a black jacket, ball cap, and white mask, shot him several times in the back and ran to the direction of Abanao St, where he disappeared./Pamela Mariz Geminiano (PNA)