Twin blasts in Jolo, Sulu linked to Abu Sayyaf Group

Marje Pelayo   •   January 28, 2019   •   2533

|Photo courtesy of AFP WestMinCom

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) suspected possible links of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to the deadly twin explosions in Jolo, Sulu on Sunday morning (January 27).

Colonel Gerry Besana of the AFP Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) said that the group Ajang-Ajang, an ASG-affiliated armed group known for abduction and sowing terror in the area, has been identified as the perpetrators of the blast.

The military positively identified the group through a CCTV  footage recovered from the crime scene which showed some members of Ajang-Ajang entered the Mt. Carmel Cathedral and rushed outside before the two explosions happened.

“Iyan ang mga Abu Sayyaf na nandudoon sa city pagala-gala lang doon at sila ang mga itinuturo palagi na gumagawa ng atrocities laban sa ating mga kasundaluhan. At the same time gumagawa din ng mga kalokohan at panggugulo dyan sa bayan ng Jolo,” confirmed Besana, AFP Westmincom’s spokesperson.

“Ngayon ang kagandahan dito may lead na tayo at alam natin sino ang perpetrators ng pagpapasabog na ito,” he added.

The AFP-PNP joint investigation on the incident is now ongoing particularly the assessment of the signature prints on the recovered parts of the improvised explosive devices (IED) used by the suspects.

Meanwhile, former Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan believes the attacks had something to do with the recently concluded plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Tan suspects the incident was plotted by BOL supporters after they (Tan) voted ‘no’ for the BOL.

“They want to undermine our leadership in the province after the plebiscite, but we will never give in we won’t give in we will fight back and we are ready to fight,” Tan said. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Dante Amento)

AFP rescues abducted teacher in Sulu

Marje Pelayo   •   October 18, 2019

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – After exactly 20 days in captivity, authorities finally rescued 58-year-old teacher, Rosa Singua who was abducted in Jolo, Sulu on September 27.

The public school teacher was released after days of military surveillance and a payoff operation wherein the victim’s sister paid P283,000 ransom money at the Jolo port as part of the entrapment operation.

“Dalawa po sa mga abductors ang nakuha natin at tuloy-tuloy ang ating follow up operation ay makuha po natin yung iba pang mga kasamahan nila, (Initially, we arrested two of the abductors but after a series of follow up operations, we were able to arrest the rest of their cohorts),” explained Major Arvin John Encinas, the AFP Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson.

Two of the suspects were identified as Nurina Jura and Nurjia Asakil. Authorities are still verifying as to which group abducted Singua.

Meanwhile, the AFP remains positive that they will be able to rescue a British national and his Filipina wife who were also abducted by unidentified armed men in Tukuran town.

 “Saka tayo magsasabi kung ano man yung mga nakuha naming impormasyon (We will divulge the information as) to what lead to the rescue later on,” concluded Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejena, AFP Westmincom Commander. MNP (with reports from Dante Amento)

AFP: Kin of Abu Sayyaf leader killed in Sulu

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 12, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Members of the Abu Sayyaf Group

The brother of an Abu Sayyaf leader was killed during an encounter with the military forces in Sulu on Tuesday (September 10).

The soldiers identified the neutralized terrorist as Nanz Sawadjaan, the younger brother of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.

The 41st Infantry Battalion conducted a focused military operation in Sitio Tubig Pansol, Barangay Langhub, Patikul, Sulu.

They encountered 40 ASG members under Almujer Yadah, Ben Tattoh, and Apo Mike. The heavy firefight lasted for 20 minutes until the military was able to overrun the enemy encampment.

Two soldiers were injured during the encounter.

According to Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, the troops are still conducting pursuit operations.

“Our troops remain persistent in tracking down and neutralizing the remaining terrorists in Sulu,” he said.

“The successful operations of our troops are also attributed to the local community who feeds information, directing our troops to the terrorists’ location,” he added.—AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Suicide bombing rocks Indanan, Sulu

UNTV News   •   September 8, 2019

A bomb exploded anew in the municipality of Indanan, Sulu on Sunday (September 8) afternoon.

An unidentified suicide bomber attacked a military detachment in Barangay Kajatian, Indanan, Sulu at 5:45pm.

Troops from the 351B Battalion immediately proceeded to the area for possible reinforcement. They were promptly followed by intelligence operatives for initial investigation.

The military’s Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) said in a statement that the attacker was a long-haired foreign looking woman based on the recovered mutilated head. However, the recovered dismembered hand resembles that of a man.

The report further adds that the bomber was wearing an abaya attire, a full-length outer garment traditionally worn by some Muslim women.

Apart from the suspect, no other casualties were reported.

The WestMinCom assured that government forces will continue peace and security efforts to prevent hostile acts that may “disrupt the peace and development in the Bangsamoro Region.”

The bombing comes on the heels of yesterday’s blast in Sultan Kudarat where an improvised explosive device went off at a public market in Isulan, injuring seven people.

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