Duterte admin maintains ‘no ransom policy’ on Abu Sayyaf hostages

Robie de Guzman   •   February 22, 2019   •   1748

File photo: Members of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Malacañang on Friday maintained the government’s policy of not paying ransom for the release of several hostages taken by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf group.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued the statement after the ASG threatened to behead a Malaysian and two Indonesian nationals held captive in Mindanao if ransoms are not paid.

“We are doing our best to secure the release of hostages (one Malaysian and two Indonesians) from the evil hands of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) but we stand firm on our no-ransom policy,” Panelo said.

Panelo explained that giving in to the demands of terrorists and other lawless groups “would embolden them to engage in more abductions,” and that it would allow them to “conduct extremist and other criminal activities as they could buy more arms and weapons.”

“The ASG continues to be on the run as a result of the order of the President to the military to crush them,” he added.

“Our security forces are hunting them in the wild forests of Mindanao to unleash their might and blow them to kingdom come,” Panelo concluded. — Robie de Guzman (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Bomb signature used in Patikul Bombing, same with what ASG uses – PNP BARMM

Maris Federez   •   August 14, 2019

Authorities secure the area outside a church following a bombing incident at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Jolo last January 27, 2019. (Photo: Armed Forces of the Philippines – Western Mindanao Command)

The Philippine National Police-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PNP-BARMM) office is looking into the possibility that the group of Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan could be the one behind the series of bombings in Sitio Tibongbong, Barangay Igasan in Patikul, Sulu on Tuesday (Aug. 13).

PRO-BARMM director PBGen. Marni Marcos said the bombs used in the bombing at the Jolo Cathedral, at a military camp in Sulu and in Patikul bear the same signature.

Based on the shredded pipe gathered at the bomb site, same type of pipes were used as bomb cylinder.

“Sino ba yung nagpe-perpetrate ng mga ganyang terrorist act in the area? Iisa lang naman yung grupong binabantayan natin [Who else would perpetrate such terrorist acts in the area? There’s only one group that we are monitoring],” said Marcos.

Nevertheless, the police are still conducting a thorough investigation to ascertain whether some groups are copying Sawadjaan’s style.

Gen. Marcos will also meet the local chief executives in Sulu to ask them to encourage their constituents to cooperate with the authorities in their investigation on the said series of bombings.

He added that they will also talk with the Ulama in the area.

“Yung concern natin sa terrorism yung landscape niyan ay nag iba na. Meron na tayong Filipino suicide bomber. And worst is, mga bata o young people yung nire-recruit (What we are concerned about is that the terrorism landscape has already changed.  We now have Filipino suicide bombers. And worst is, they are recruiting the young people),” Marcos said.

“We should involve everybody. Hindi lang military o law enforcement unit ngayon ang inaano natin because it involves yung education, ano yung teaching at ano ba talaga yung tamang ituturo natin sa mga bata [We are not just focusing on military or law enforcement because it also involves education. What are the things that we should really teach the children],” he added.

Meanwhile, PNP chief PGen. Oscar Albayalde has admitted that there is a problem with security in the area and that they need the help and cooperation of the community.

“We have to be alert always.  Very important po ang participation ng community dito. Napaka importante ng impormasyon na ibibigay ng community dito para maubos at matigil na ang insidente na ito sa ating bayan [The community’s participation is very important. The information that the community will provide us is very important in curbing or stopping these incidents in our country],” the PNP chief said.

A member of the 43rd K9 Platoon of the Philippine Army was among the injured in Tuesday’s Patikul bombing. (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

TESDA exec with alleged links to Abu Sayyaf Group nabbed

Marje Pelayo   •   June 25, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – A high-ranking official of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) was nabbed in a joint operation by soldiers and police for illegal possession of explosives in Isabela City, Basilan.

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Regional Field Unit 9 Chief PCol. Tom Tuzon said the suspect was identified as Muida Hataman, TESDA’s provincial director based in Basilan, believed to have links with the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

Police Colonel Bernard Banac said Hataman was arrested early morning on Tuesday (June 25) at Barangay San Rafael in Isabela City as a warrant for her arrest was being served.

Seized from the suspect several materials in making explosives such as blasting cap, chemical ingredients, four cellular phones, and two laptop devices.

“Ang suspek ay kasalukuyang nasa kustodiya ng CIDG Region 9 at sumasailalim na po sa imbestigasyon at patuloy na inaalam ang posible pang kasamahan at iba pang gamit sa pampasabog na maaari pang nakatago sa ibang lugar,” PNP Spokesperson PCol. Banac said.

(The suspect is currently under the custody of the CIDG Region 9 and is now being investigated. [Authorities] are looking into some of her possible cohorts and other explosive materials that are still being kept somewhere.)

While the CIDG already received information that Hataman is connected to an ASG sub-unit, authorities are still verifying information regarding her identity as the investigation goes on.

“Patuloy pang inaalam ng mga taga CIDG kung ano ang kanyang background, kung meron ba siyang kinalaman sa grupong ASG at (kung) mayroong kamag anak at bakit nasa possession niya ang mga naturang gamit pampasabog,” Banac said.

(CIDG personnel are still verifying her background – if she has links to the ASG, any relative and why she was in possession of bomb making paraphernalia.)

Hataman is believed to be the wife of ASG sub leader Radzmir Janatul. – (with details from Lea Ylagan)

ASG member responsible for 2002 Kidapawan bus terminal bombing nabbed

Marje Pelayo   •   February 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities have finally arrested one of Abu Sayyaf Group’s (ASG) most wanted members, Abdurahman Daiyung alias Biznar Salabudin / Abu Talha, in Ermita, Manilla on Sunday (February 11).

Through a warrant of arrest issued in 2008 by Basilan Regional Trial Court Judge Leo Jay Principe, soldiers and police nabbed Daiyung along M. H. Del Pilar Street in Padre Faura area where he was working as a welder.

“Na-monitor natin na pumupunta at umiikot siya sa ibang kasamahan niya dito. Ang pagkakahuli natin sa kanya ay offshoot ng ating arrest ng isang kasamahan niya last December before Traslacion,” confirmed NCRPO Chief PDir. Guillermo Eleazar said.

According to police records, Daiyung was the one responsible for the abduction of 15 plantation workers at Golden Harvest in 2001.

He was also involved in the October 10, 2002 bombing of a bus terminal in Kidapawan City that killed 7 individuals and injured 24 others.

The NCRPO, meanwhile, is still investigating the whereabouts of other ASG members roaming around Metro Manila specifically those who have links to Daiyung.

Eleazar noted, however, that the arrests of ASG members in Metro Manila are no reasons for concern.

“Ang Abu Sayyaf kasi ay mayroong inactive at mayroong active. Mayroong iba na sympathizers, supporters. In the case noong naaresto natin right now, dini-determine natin kung siya ay active member,” Eleazar explained.

“(Ang) basis naman ng arrest natin sa kanya ay ang warrant of arrest niya for the case that happened long time ago,” the NCRPO Chief concluded.

Daiyung belonged to the ASG faction led by ISIS emir Isnilon Hapilon. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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