2 suspected Abu Sayyaf members nabbed in Zamboanga City

admin   •   January 29, 2018   •   4518

MANILA, Philippines — The joint forces of the regional intelligence unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Task Force Zamboanga and its maritime unit arrested two suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Barangay Mariki, in Zamboanga City last Saturday.

They were identified as Tantari Sampang alias Abu Sonny and Paisar Aktub Sampang alias Jaber.

The two were allegedly working for ASG top leader Radulan Sahiron.

“Hindi lang sila basta-basta. They are someone doon sa organization nila kasi directly under Radulan Sahiron sila kaya nga mas masaya tayo na nakuha natin sila the fastest time,” said Zamboanga City Police spokesperson, PSInsp. Shellamae Chang.

(They are not ordinary members. They are someone [important] within the organization because they are working directly under Radulan Sahiron. That’s why we’re glad to have arrested them in the fastest time.)

Tantari Sampang is facing seven counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, while Paisar Aktub Sampang is facing six counts of the same offenses in connection with his alleged involvement in the abduction of the employees of golden harvest plantation in Lantawan, Basilan, back in 2001.

According to Chang, they were able to arrest seven ASG members this month.

Meanwhile, the Zamboanga police allayed residents’ concerns over the series of arrests of alleged ASG members in the city.

They explained that they are just proving that they are doing their all in providing security to the public.

Despite this, the PNP is not discounting the possibility that the colleagues of the arrested ASG members might have been planning to sow violence in the area.

“Hindi po tayo pwede magrelaks kumbaga hindi natin pwede idisregard yung thought na baka mas madami pa sila kaya nga we rely on the information na yung binibigay ng community,” said Chang.

(We cannot just relax. We cannot disregard the thought that there are plenty of them. This is why we are relying on the information given by the community.)

Authorities will turn over Tantari to the Basilan police, while Paisar to the Pasig City police where he has a standing warrant of arrest.  — Maris Federes| UNTV News and Rescue

4 suspected Abu Sayyaf members arrested in Zamboanga City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 26, 2019

Four suspected members of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were arrested during the joint operation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Zamboanga City on Thursday (September 26).

The arrested individuals were identified as Aljiver Habibula, Omar Julaspih, Rody Marail, and Nash Amik who are all from Sulu province and are currently residing at Barangay Baliwasan, Zamboanga City.

Recovered from the operation are ingredients for Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

According to the PNP, they have been monitoring the suspects for several days. They also clarified they have not received any threats of bombing in Zamboanga City.

“Batay sa briefing ng ating intelligence division ay wala naman talaga tayong threat tungkol diyan. Hindi rin natin masasabi kung ito ba ay may plano (attack) para sa ating fiesta pilar (Based on the briefing of our intelligence division, there are no threats. We also cannot say if they have a planned attack for our festival),” Police Regional Office 9 Spokesperson PMaj. Helen Galvez said.

However, according to AFP Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson Maj. Arvin John Encinas, they received a report last month about the ASG’s plan to bomb various areas in the country.

Encinas said this is a part of ASG’s retaliatory attack because their number continues to decrease.

“Maliit na lang iyan pero mayroon silang kakayahan to conduct IED attacks (They may be small but they still have the capacity to conduct IED attacks),” he warned.

Due to this, he reminded the public to immediately report to the authorities any suspicious individuals in their area.

They can contact the PRO-9 office at 0917 506 2000.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Several barangays in Zamboanga city submerged in floodwater due to ‘Marilyn’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2019

Several barangays in Zamboanga City are submerged in flood due to the heavy rains brought by tropical depression ‘Marilyn’ this week.

There is also no electricity in several areas due to broken power lines.

Classes have been suspended in all levels while the Philippine Coast Guard (PSG) already cancelled sea travel for the safety of the passengers.

Meanwhile, various rescue units in Zamboanga City continue to conduct their rescue operations to aid residents affected by the severe flooding. Affected barangays include, Barangay Putik, San Jose Gusu, and Santa Maria.

The local government continues to advise residents in the low-lying areas to immediately evacuate to avoid the effects of the flood.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

AFP readies for Abu Sayyaf retaliation following death of key member

Robie de Guzman   •   September 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is preparing for possible acts of reprisal from the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) following the death of one of its key members in a recent encounter with government troops in Sulu.

According to AFP Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) Spokesperson Maj. Arvin John Encinas, they are not discounting the possibility of retaliatory attacks by the ASG after the younger brother of an ASG leader was killed in a gun battle in Patikul, Sulu last Tuesday (Sept. 10).

Philippine Army’s 41st Infantry Battalion faced around 40 ASG members in a heavy firefight that broke out in Sitio Tubig Pansol in Barangay Langhub.

ASG fighters were said to have retreated after about 20 minutes of gunfight.

READ: AFP: Kin of Abu Sayyaf leader killed in Sulu

Government troops then overran the ASG camp and found a body, which military identified as Nanz Sawadjaan, brother of ASG sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.

Nanz Sawadjaan was one of ASG’s bomb experts who was allegedly involved in Jolo cathedral blast and other recent suicide bomb attacks in Sulu.

Encinas said the death of Sawadjaan is a great loss to the terrorist group.

“Yung pagka-neutralize natin dito sa kapatid ni sub-leader Sawadjaan ay isang malaking dagok sa hanay ng mga Abu Sayyaf Group considering na itong si Nanz Sawadjaan ay trained sa paggawa IED (improvised explosive device),” he said.

(The neutralization of the brother of sub-leader Sawadjaan is a great loss to the Abu Sayyaf group considering that this Nanz Sawadjaan was trained in making IEDs.)

The military said that before the demise of Sawadjaan, they received information about the ASG’s plans to launch a series of suicide bombings in Sulu, including in military detachments.

Last Sept. 8 a female suicide bomber was killed in Indanan town after she tried to attack a military checkpoint by blowing herself up. No one was injured in the blast because soldiers were able to take cover following shouts of alarm from other detachment members.

The AFP assured the readiness of their troops and urged the public to immediately report any suspicious individuals or things spotted in their areas. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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