Suspect in deadly Philippines bombing escapes from jail: justice minister


MANILA — A key suspect in the 2007 bombing of the Philippine parliament building that killed seven people has escaped from prison, the justice minister said Tuesday.

Jail guards announced Ikram Indama was missing from his cell at the national police headquarters on Sunday, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez told reporters.

Indama, from the southern Philippines, and two other suspects were arrested and then indicted in December for multiple murders over the Nov. 13, 2007 bombing of the House of Representatives.

The blast killed seven people including Muslim legislator Wahab Akbar and injured 12 others.

Gonzalez said he has asked police to investigate the jail guards for possible collusion in the escape.

Gonzalez said that prior to the escape, Indama had offered to testify for the state and point to a local rival of Akbar as the mastermind of the bombing.

State prosecutors are investigating the alleged involvement of the rival, former legislator Jerry Salapuddin, in the 2007 bombing.

Police say the attack was politically motivated.

Akbar is a former Muslim militant with links to the Islamic extremist Abu Sayyaf group, and was known to have many political enemies.