Cotabato City Mayor Links to Crime?

This was how Cotabato City Vice Mayor Muslimin Sema described the filing of kidnapping charges against him, his allies and 26 others in connection with the abduction of a hardware store owner here a month ago.

Sema, also the presiding officer of the city’s Sangguniang Panglungsod, categorically denied he has something to do with the kidnapping of Filipino-Chinese trader Eulogio Adin Yu.

Sema, chair of a big faction of the Moro National Liberation Front, was charged, along with 28 others, in connection with Yu’s kidnapping.

In his speech at Tuesday’s SP session, Sema said some sectors are out to destroy his name and that of his family. “I never did anything illegal even when I am still a rebel leader,” Sema said.

“Why should I involve myself in illegal activities when I can live peacefully and enjoy my life as a legitimate and elected public official,” he stressed.

The city vice mayor who served as city mayor for three consecutive terms said the cases against him and his allies were politically motivated and could be related to the coming elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“I’m convinced this, partly, is political persecution. Some groups, this early, are already grooming me to become their candidate for governor of ARMM if the regional elections push through in August, but I have never said I will accede to their wish. I’m not running for governor of the autonomous region,” Sema said. C

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