4 suspected Abu Sayyaf members arrested in Zamboanga City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 26, 2019   •   664

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)

Plane makes emergency landing off Zamboanga City

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 7, 2020

A pilot and three passengers were rescued after a private plane made an emergency landing near the shoreline of Barangay Sinunuc in Zamboanga City on Tuesday (July 7).

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said the private plane was already on the water approximately six feet depth and six meters away from the shoreline of Barangay Sinunuc when their rescue team arrived.

The four rescued: an Indian pilot and three passengers (Filipino, Indian and Nepali) were all in good condition and were transported to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in Zamboanga City for further assistance.

Based on initial investigation, the private plane took off from Zamboanga Airport bound for Dumaguete City at around 9:30 a.m. today. The pilot said there was a failure on the left engine a few minutes after they took off from the airport which prompted the emergency landing.

4 suspected Abu Sayyaf members killed in Parañaque raid

Robie de Guzman   •   June 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Four suspected members of terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed in a raid launched by government security forces in Don Bosco, Parañaque City past Friday midnight.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) identified the suspects as Bensaudi Sali alias “Boy,” his wife Merhama Abdul Sawari alias “Mheng,” Rasin Hussin alias “Boscon,” and Jamal Kalliming alias “Pando.”

According to National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) regional director Major General Debold Sinas, the four suspects died during the raid jointly conducted by elements from the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Sinas said the team tried to serve a search warrant at the house of the suspects in Better Living Subdivision at 12:26 a.m. when the suspects engaged law enforcers in a firefight.

The security forces retaliated which eventually led to the killing of the suspects.

The police and military said the operation stemmed from the information they received about the presence of members of Daulah Islamiyah, who were tagged as a financial conduit of Daesh-East Asia, in Parañaque City.

Daulah Islamiyah is a faction of the ASG that is affiliated with the Islamic State.

The search warrant against the suspects was issued by Judge Noemi Balitaan of the Parañaque City Regional Trial Court Branch 258 for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

According to reports from the AFP and the PNP, the suspects’ profiles are as follows:

  • Sali was tagged as a member of ASG/Daulah Islamiyah in Sulu. He was a native of Jolo and had been working as a security guard in a residential condominium in Parañaque.
  • His wife, Sawari was tagged as ASG/Daulah Islamiyah-Sulu group’s finance and logislitics facilitator. She was said to be the recipient of money remittance from Indonesian ISEA facilitator Yoga Fabrianto who was arrested in Sabah on June 2019.
  • Hussin and Kalliming, who were also both working as security guards like Sali, were alleged cohorts of the two ASG members.

The military said that after the operation, authorities recovered from the site three blasting caps, different kinds of wire, two bottles of white and brownish granules (suspected explosives), two revolvers and two pistols with live ammunition, two black ISIS flags, two hand grenades, one M16 rifle, and one electric match.

The PNP said the encounter also resulted in the wounding of Police Corporal Ehrol Gamboa, who is now receiving treatment for the gunshot wounds he sustained on both legs.

PNP chief Police General Archie Gamboa said crime scene investigators are thoroughly sifting through the recovered evidence while a complete investigation has been ordered into the circumstances surrounding the presence of the alleged Abu Sayyaf members in Metro Manila. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

Soldier killed, 9 others hurt in clash with Abu Sayyaf group in Sulu

Robie de Guzman   •   June 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A soldier was killed while several others were injured in a “fierce firefight” between military troops and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members in Patikul, Sulu on Monday, June 22, the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (AFP Westmincom) said.

In a statement, the AFP said that around noon on Monday, soldiers of 32nd Infantry Battalion encountered an undetermined number of members of the terror group in Sitio Tubig Bukayon in Barangay Pansul.

The firefight killed one military officer and wounded nine others while the number of casualties among the ASG members is still undetermined.

“It is with deep sadness to report that one valiant military officer paid the ultimate sacrifice and nine personnel were wounded while fearlessly fighting the enemies and protecting the people of Sulu,” Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, WestMinCom Commander said.

Sobejana added that the family of the fallen soldier will be notified and provided with “all forms of assistance.”

The AFP said its Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu is currently going after the ASG members.

“Our troops are still pursuing the withdrawing enemies who left several blood stains on their tracks,” Maj. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, JTF Commander, said in the same statement.

The military vowed to continue its intensified offensive operations against the local terrorist group.

“The skirmishers between our forces and the ASG persist. As we actively support the civil government in preventing the spread of COVID-19, we also ensure that the people in the community are safe and secured from the terrorism,” Sobejana said.

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