Suspected Abu Sayyaf arms suppliers nabbed in Valenzuela City
Marje Pelayo • December 17, 2018 • 3257
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)
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)
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
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)
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