2 suspected Abu Sayyaf members nabbed in Zamboanga City

admin   •   January 29, 2018   •   4797

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

PNP mourns over AFP’s loss in Sulu encounter

Maris Federez   •   April 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines The Philippine National Police (PNP) expressed grief over the loss of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in an encounter between the military and elements of the Abu Sayyaf Group on Friday (April 17).

“The Officers, men and women of the Philippine National Police, under the command of PGen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, join the Filipino nation in mourning over the loss of 11 of our brothers in arms in the Armed Forces of the Philippines who offered the ultimate sacrifice in an encounter with terrorists in Sulu yesterday,” says a statement it released on Saturday through its spokesperson, PBGen. Bernard M Banac.

The country’s police force believes that the soldiers “did not die in vain -the cause they are fighting for is the lifelong commitment of all men and women in uniform who derive inspiration from the heroism of our fallen brothers to bring on the fight against the enemies of the state,” Banac said.

The official added that the PNP is extending every possible support and assistance that it can give to comfort the families of the fallen soldiers and to provide care for the wounded.

“Even as the entire government is preoccupied with response operations to address the health crisis, state security forces will continue to perform the duty to keep the country safe from terrorism and lawlessness,” Banac concluded. mbmf

Palace slams ASG attack on government troops in Sulu

Maris Federez   •   April 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines The Office of the President on Saturday slammed the Abu Sayyaf Group after around 40 of its members attacked the government troops in Patikul, Sulu on Friday (April 17) resulting in the death of 11 soldiers and wounding 14 others.

In a statement, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the administration condemns “in the strongest possible terms the latest incident in Patikul, Sulu, where members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) believed to be under ASG leader Radullan Sahiron and Hatib Hadjan Sawadjaan attacked government troops resulting in a firefight, which left 11 soldiers killed and 14 wounded.”

Roque noted that what happened was already the second encounter that the government troops had with the same terrorist group; the first one, on April 16,  in which three soldiers were wounded.

“The Office of the President expresses its sincerest condolences to the bereaved families left behind by our brave soldiers who fought hard and paid the ultimate sacrifice to secure our community. We honor and pray for the fallen,” Roque’s statement reads.

He further noted that the enemies of the State do not choose any date and occasion and just seem to strike even at this time that the country is battling a great pandemic.

Roque, however, reiterate that this must serve as a warning to all, stressing that, “our authorities remain ready and prepared to crush the enemies of the government and quell any armed attack amid the existing state of calamity and public health emergency.” mbmf

Zamboanga City conducts contact tracing, stricter quarantine as it records first COVID-19 case

Robie de Guzman   •   March 25, 2020

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The city government of Zamboanga said it has started tracing all people who have had contact with its first case of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar made the announcement on Monday night after confirming the city’s first case – a 29-year old male resident of Sinunuc in Zamboanga City.

“As of 8pm tonight, the city of Zamboanga has recorded its first COVID-19 case, based on the result and test conducted by the health agencies, the Department of Health,” she said.

Salazar added that the patient had traveled from Metro Manila via Philippine Airlines flight PR 2993, and arrived in the city on March 13.

He experienced fever and chills – which are among the coronavirus symptoms – two days later.

On March 16, he consulted a local private hospital and was considered a person under investigation due to his travel history.

He underwent testing the same day, and his swab specimen was sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on March 17.

His test result came out positive for COVID-19 on March 24.

According to City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Miravite, the patient is in stable condition and had only manifested mild symptoms.

Miravite added that the patient has been under strict home quarantine.

“Na-monitor natin sa barangay, and minomonitor natin to siya everyday. So far, ang symptoms niya ay improving,” she said.

Salazar said they are now implementing stricter containment measures, especially in the village where the patient is residing, to stop the spread of the virus.

The mayor warned penalties against residents who will disobey the home quarantine and social distancing measures against COVID-19.

To date, the city has reported 31 patients under investigation but 17 of them have tested negative for coronavirus. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)

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