MANILA, Philippines – A former elected official and member of a prominent political clan in Sulu who was implicated in at least two bombing incidents was arrested in a subdivision in Davao City, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported on Saturday, January 14.
Temogen “Cocoy” Tulawie, a former councilor of a Jolo town, was arrested at Lot 17, Block 33, Phase 2, Barangay Catalunan at around 1 am on Saturday.
He was arrested by combined elements of the AFP’s Military Intelligence Group (MIG) and the Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on the basis of a pending arrest warrant for “multiple frustrated murder.” This is in connection with a bombing incident in Patikul town on May 13, 2009.
The attack allegedly targeted Sulu Governor Sakur Tan, whose family is known to be bitter political rivals of the Tulawies.
Tulawie was detained at the Davao City police headquarters and is expected to be transported to Zamboanga City, where he will be brought to Jolo to face the charges filed against him in a local court.
Aside from the May 2009 slay attempt, Tulawie was also linked to the August 5, 2010 Zamboanga City Airport bombing which killed two people and injured 22 others. Tan, who was among the passengers of a flight from Manila, left the airport just minutes before the explosion occurred. Tulawie however, was not included among those charged for the airport blast.
Tulawie has denied having a hand in both failed assassination attempts against Tan.
When a Jolo court issued an order for his arrest in relation to the May 2009 incident, Tulawie hid in other parts of Mindanao.
In an interview with Mindanews, a Mindanao-based online news organization, in October 2010, Tulawie insisted on his innocence and lamented that he would likely not get fair judgment on his case in Jolo.
Gov Tan, on the other hand, expressed “surprise” when he learned about Tulawie’s arrest in Davao City, and that a “peace group” coddled him for three years when he went into hiding.
“Of course we are happy Cocoy has finally been arrested. It only shows that the law will eventually catch up with those having criminal liabilities,” Tan said. – Rappler.com