Suspected Abu Sayyaf arms suppliers nabbed in Valenzuela City

Marje Pelayo   •   December 17, 2018   •   3542

 

Mugshots of suspects identified as Rosemarie and Edgardo Medel

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – A couple was nabbed by members of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Regional Special Operations Unit on Sunday (December 16) for trading unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

The suspects, identified as Edgardo and Rosemarie Medel, were arrested at North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) after police agents, disguised as buyers, negotiated a ploy of P1.2 million worth of firearms.

Authorities seized from the suspects a bush master, an M16 infant Colt Defense Riffle and a 9mm pistol along with almost 13,000 pieces of ammunition.

According to PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde, the suspects were allegedly supplying firearms to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and several politicians in Mindanao.

“(Based on) the intelligence report, we have number one, ang pino-provide nila ay ang mga private armed group and also nakakarating sa Mindanao including ang enemies of the state,” he said.

NCRPO Director General Guillermo Eleazar also confirmed that the two suspects were the same persons reported in the past transacting arms with an inmate from the Metro Manila District Jail in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig.

“During the last transaction, the suspect was transacting with an inmate detained at the metro manila district jail and accordingly, merong silang contact na dadalhin sa Mindanao thru Muslim brother,” Eleazar said.

The PNP is now coordinating with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to determine the origin of the firearms and ammunition seized from the couple based in the LOT number and serial number written on the wooden boxes.

“We have names already na bini-verify allegedly meron siyang connection sa Fort Magsaysay. Iyong isa nakita namin is a retired na sinasabing contact niya. He is a retired AFP soldier,” Albayalde said.

The two suspects were charged with violation of Section 28 and Section 32 of R.A. 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunitions Regulations Act. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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.

Valenzuela City signs ordinance prohibiting jokes, false claims on COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 20, 2020

The Valenzuela City Government has signed an ordinance that will penalize individuals making jokes/pranks or spreading false claims about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Based on the “Bawal Ang COVID-19 Jokes” ordinance, it is prohibited to spread false information or jokingly accuse someone of being infected with COVID-19.

The prohibitions also include jokes on social media, “by word of mouth, written, printed or video through whatever form of communication”.

Violators of the ordinance will face a penalty of P5,000 worth of fine and/or community service. AAC

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