ASG sub-leader, 3 members killed in Sulu – AFP

Marje Pelayo   •   June 14, 2021   •   328

MANILA, Philippines – The Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) of the Armed Forces of of the Philippines (AFP) reported the death of a notorious Abu Sayyaf Group sub-leader and three of his followers in a law enforcement operation in Sulu.

“Based on the report from the ground, combined elements of the military and police conducted a law enforcement operation to serve a warrant of arrest against ASG sub-group leader Injam Yadah in Barangay Alat, Jolo, Sulu around 2:00AM Sunday, June 13, 2021,” the WESMINCOM Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr. said.

Sensing the presence of the operating troops, the target and three of his cohorts opened fire thereby prompting the government forces to retaliate. The exchange of fires resulted in the instantaneous death of Yadah and three others.

“We’ve long been on the hunt for Yadah. He has a reputation of being extremely violent — beheading captured innocent civilians and security forces alike. Finally, his hideous acts will now come to a full stop,” said Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, Commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu.

Two of the neutralized cohorts of Yadah were identified as Al-Al Sawadjaan, the youngest brother of infamous bomber Mundi Sawadjaan, and a.k.a. Rauf/Raup while the other one is yet to be identified.

According to 35th Infantry Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Wilfredo Borgonia, Yadah was involved in the kidnapping of various foreign nationals and locals including the ex-wife and daughter of former Talipao Mayor Tambrin Tulawie in 2018.

His latest reported activity was the kidnapping of Rex Triplett in Sirawai, Zamboanga Sibugay and Dr. Moreno in Jolo in 2020.

He was also involved in the abduction of the recently rescued Indonesian nationals.

Lt. Col. Borgonia further stated that Mundi’s brother Al-Al Sawadjaan was a volunteer suicide bomber and improvised explosive device maker.

Operating troops seized in the house of Yadah one M653 Carbine, one cal. 45 pistol, IED components, and 15 mobile phones. Troops also captured Yadah’s wife identified as a.k.a. Jhing and rescued their three children.

“All the forces under JTF-Sulu are doubling their efforts to apprehend Mundi Sawadjaan. His brothers are now dead and we are optimistic that he will also be neutralized. When that day comes, we can say that we have achieved total peace in the province. The local government and people here are one with us in this endeavor,” Maj. Gen. Gonzales added.

Since January 2021, a total of 121 ASG personalities have been neutralized in Sulu. Among the 121 members, 18 were killed, 86 surrendered, and 17 were apprehended.

5 alleged Abu Sayyaf Group members surrender in Basilan

Robie de Guzman   •   July 20, 2021

Five suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have surrendered to authorities in Lamitan City, Basilan, the military said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command (AFP WestMinCom), said the bandits turned themselves in at the 68th Infantry Battalion Headquarters in Campo Uno on Monday.

The military identified the bandits as alias Nori, 32 years old; alias Ansar, 44; alias Dam, 44; alias Miyo, 42; and alias Sharim, 30.

The five were said to be members of the ASG unit under the late Isnilon Hapilon.

They also surrendered their firearms, which include four M1 Garand rifles and one KG9 semi-automatic pistol along with one magazine and five cartridge 9mm ammunition.

The alleged ASG members and their firearms were presented to Joint Task Force Basilan Commander, Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway.

Gobway said the Joint Task Force-Basilan together with the provincial and local government officials, will assist the former violent extremists in their reintegration into mainstream society.

“We are optimistic that those bandits who are still hiding will soon come out and avail of the programs and projects that the government offers,” Vinluan said.

The WestMinCom said that since January 2021, a total of 21 ASG members have surrendered to the JTF Basilan. Eighteen of them were regular members and three were supporters of the group.

ASG member nabbed in Taguig City

Marje Pelayo   •   July 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —  Joint police operatives nabbed a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sitio Imelda, Upper Bicutan, Taguig City on Saturday (July 10).

The ASG member identified as Taupik Galbun y Gaffar alias Pa Wahid was arrested by virtue of a warrant of arrest docketed under CC No. 128923-H A to E issued by Judge Toribio Ilao Jr. of the Pasig City RTC Branch 266 for six counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with ransom.

A second warrant of arrest was served for another crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with ransom docketed under CC No. 815-3 issued at Pasig City Regional Trial Court. The arrest warrant was signed on November 6, 2009.

The 40-year-old construction worker is said to be a member of the group of late Basilan-based ASG leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Bakal Hapilon.

Known by the alias Pa Wahid, he served as an outer guard for the kidnap victims in Sulu and Basilan during the crackdown in Mindanao when the group of Hapilon and Sahiron merged to conduct a series of kidnappings.

According to the Philippine National Police (PNP), alias Pa Wid was involved in the beheading of Primitivo Falcansantos, Crisanto Suela and Guillermo Sobero.

The arrested suspect was also tagged in the abduction of three teachers of Landang Gua Elementary School, Sacol Island, Zamboanga City during their return trip from work onboard a boat with seven other teachers on January 23, 2009 along the municipal waters of Zamboanga.

Taupik Galbun is being sought for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping of six members of the Jehovah’s Witness, who were doing door-to-door sales of cosmetic products, back in August 20, 2002 in Patikul, Sulu.

Two of those abducted were beheaded while the four remaining victims were rescued by the military after weeks of operations.

AFP identifies 20th fatality in Sulu C-130 crash

Robie de Guzman   •   July 9, 2021

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday said it has identified another soldier who perished in the C-130 crash in Patikul, Sulu.

The 20th fatality that the AFP has identified was Airman First Class Fortunate Regidor of the Philippine Air Force.

His remains are now being prepared for air transport, it added.

The military previously released the names of the following 19 personnel who were killed in the air mishap over the weekend:

  • Maj Emmanuel V Makalintal (PAF)
  • Maj Michael Vincent L Benolerao (PAF)
  • 1Lt Karl Joseph T Hintay (PAF)
  • TSg Mark Anthony A Agana (PAF)
  • TSg Donald P Badoy (PAF)
  • SSg Jan Neil Y Macapaz (PAF)
  • SSg Michael P Bulalaque (PAF)
  • Sgt Jack P Navarro (PAF)
  • Cpt Nigello R Emeterio (AFP Medical Corps)
  • 1Lt Sheena Alexandrea F Tato (AFP Nurse Corps)
  • Sgt Butch D Maestro (PA)
  • Pfc Christopher A Rollon (PA)
  • Pfc Felixzalday M Provido (PA)
  • Pvt Raymar C Carmona (PA)
  • Pvt Vic A Monera (PA)
  • Pvt Mark Nash P Lumanta (PA)
  • Pvt Jomar A Gabas (PA)
  • Pvt Marcelino H Alquisar (PA)
  • Pvt Mel Mark L Angana (PA)

With 20 bodies already identified, there remain 29 fatalities undergoing examination and preservation in different facilities in Zamboanga City:

  • TSg Nelson B Hadjiri (PA)
  • TSg Salaji J Abdurahman (PA)
  • Cpl Alhamin U Salahuddin (PA)
  • Cpl Dexter E Estrada (PA)
  • PFC Keth Kane S Alegarme (PA)
  • Sgt Jelson J Sadjail (PA)
  • Cpl Gulam H Ismael (PA)
  • Cpl Philip Dante T Camilosa (PA)
  • Pvt Joey T Loterte (PA)
  • Pvt Erwin M Canton (PA)
  • Pvt Mar Jhun T Capagngan (PA)
  • Cpl Reynel A Matundin (PA)
  • Pvt Kevin L Damole (PA)
  • PFC Nazer S Albaracin (PA)
  • Pvt Michael C Dalore (PA)
  • Cpl Jay-ar V Obenita (PA)
  • Cpl Jemmer B Mondido (PA)
  • PFC Alzid S Hawrani (PA)
  • Pvt Carlos Jhun C Pargua Jr (PA)
  • Pvt Ian R Arsuelo (PA)
  • Cpl Jerome M Balivado (PA)
  • PFC Benjie S Malanog (PA)
  • PFC Lester Al T Lagrada (PA)
  • Pvt Mansueto B Lingatong III (PA)
  • PFC Bensheen V Sabaduquia (PA)
  • PFC Carlos D Dapanas Jr (PA)
  • PFC Marchi E Bonzales (PA)
  • Pvt Archie S Barba (PA)
  • A2C Glen Mar G Biscocho (PAF)

Meanwhile, the following 47 injured military personnel are still being treated in Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Sulu, Zamboanga City Medical Center, Ciudad Medical Center, Doctors Hospital, Camp Navarro General Hospital, and West Metro Hospital in Zamboanga City:

  • Cpl Kristopher E Baobao (PA)
  • Pfc Ludovico D Pastera Jr (PA)
  • Pvt Jesfel D Mequiabas (PA)
  • Pvt Vincent Paul Bandalan (PA)
  • Pvt Geive L Hensis (PA)
  • SSg Arnulfo A Sarong (PA)
  • Cpl Michael N Sagge (PA)
  • Pvt Christian C Martorillas (PA)
  • Pfc Attrajie H Samindih (PA)
  • Pvt Alfran B Buna (PA)
  • Pvt Jhon Klier D Gaid (PA)
  • Cpl Jesee Lord B Galo (PA)
  • Sgt James Miguel B Ybanez (PA)
  • Pvt Jeason Mark C Balondo (PA)
  • Pvt Kenan T Villanosa (PA)
  • Pvt Jeriel O Araneta (PA)
  • Ssg Jemson S Jadjuli (PA)
  • Pvt Christian S Banug (PA)
  • Pvt Olan Marco W Acolentava (PA)
  • Cpl Romel Q Evangelio (PA)
  • Pvt Juarobenger I Impuesto (PA)
  • Pvt Chris John L Numeron (PA)
  • Pvt Jonel B Lagulay (PA)
  • Pvt Renato B Tejares (PA)
  • Pvt Rodiel S Morales (PA)
  • Pfc Reymark M Bulat-Ag (PA)
  • Pvt Roejader D Culata (PA)
  • Pvt Resque L Mambabao (PA)
  • Sgt Nasir I Abduhassan (PA)
  • Pfc Ganney O Ligayan (PA)
  • Sgt Abud H Asmawil (PA)
  • Pvt Jerson D Peloton (PA)
  • Pvt Brayan D Marfe (PA)
  • Pvt Christian Joshua Jay Pacal (PA)
  • Pvt Efren S Untoc (PA)
  • Pvt Ryan C Tagubar (PA)
  • Pvt Jeffrey D Ganzan (PA)
  • Pvt Stephen B Maglacion (PA)
  • Pvt Marck Francis I Carnaje (PA)
  • Pfc Nathaniel P Bongcayao (PA)
  • Pvt Cyrille Jhon G De Castro (PA)
  • Pvt Troy C Fernandez (PA)
  • Sgt Al-Ameen M Sahibuddin (PA)
  • Pvt Benjamin M Obod Jr (PA)
  • Sgt Bensaudi B Asanulla (PA)
  • Cpl Nasser M Baguinda (PA)
  • Pfc Al-Sharif A Atiulla (PA)

The AFP said that personnel who were killed in action will receive a Command Special Financial Assistance, which will include the sum of their base pay, hazard pay, and bonuses; a funeral service support amounting to P80,000; and monthly pension-based on rank and length of service.

“Their beneficiaries will also receive support under the Office of the President’s Comprehensive Social Benefits Program which includes Special Financial Assistance worth PhP500,000; and shelter, health, education, and employment assistance,” it added.

“No amount can ever replace the lives of our brave comrades who paid the ultimate sacrifice in line of their duty to protect our people and the state. Extending financial assistance to their families and loved ones is the least that we can do for the invaluable services they have rendered to our country,” AFP Chief of Staff General Sobejana said in a statement.

Personnel who were wounded in action, on the other hand, will receive full reimbursement of hospitalization expenses, and special financial assistance from the Office of the President worth P250,000 for major injury and P100,000 for a minor injury.

The Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefits Association, Inc. gave P12,000 each to the wounded personnel while cash advance releases are being processed for those who were killed.

Each of the wounded will also receive P10,000 as approved by Philippine Army Commander Major General Andres Centino, and P15,000 from the 11th Infantry Division.

Former Governor and now Sulu Vice Governor Abdusakur Mahail Tan also pledged P15,000 each for the wounded and P30,000 for the families of the soldiers killed in action.

“The AFP honors our members who perished in the ill-fated C-130 crash in Sulu. Their memories will live on not only in their families but throughout the military organization who continues to risk everything to achieve just and lasting peace for our nation,” Sobejana said.


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