Twin blasts in Jolo, Sulu linked to Abu Sayyaf Group

Marje Pelayo   •   January 28, 2019   •   2708

|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)

Doctor kidnapped by armed men in Sulu

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 5, 2020

A doctor has been kidnapped by armed men from his clinic in Jolo, Sulu on Tuesday (February 5).

Authorities are still investigating which group abducted Dr. Daniel Moreno who is a public servant treating local residents in Jolo, Sulu.

Based on the investigation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, four men in camouflage entered Moreno’s clinic in Barangay Walled City past 7:00 p.m. The men forced the doctor to board a red Tamaraw FX.

“Nakasuot ito ng military at PNP uniforms kung kaya’t siguro mas napadali iyong kanilang execution. Tayo po ay naniniwala na matagal na nilang sinu-surveillance at minamatyagan itong doctor na ito, (They were wearing military and PNP uniforms so the execution was easier for them. We believe they have long been monitoring this doctor),” according to Western Mindanao Command Spokesperson Major Arvin John Encinas.

Authorities are currently determining the motive of the kidnapping and if the Abu Sayyaf Group is involved in the said incident.—AAC (with reports from Val Villaflor)

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6 alleged Abu Sayyaf bandits killed in Sulu encounter – AFP

Robie de Guzman   •   November 25, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Six alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were killed in two separate clashes with the military in Sulu over the weekend, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said.

On Saturday, Nov. 23 at 2:40 p.m., government troops first encountered ASG members in Sitio Itum in Barangay Kabbuntakas in Patikul, Sulu.

One ASG fighter identified as “Jailade” was killed while four others were wounded in the firefight which lasted for 45 minutes.

Five soldiers from the 32nd Infantry Battalion, who were slightly wounded in the gunfight were brought to the Camp Bautista Station Hospital in Jolo for medical treatment.

The second encounter between the ASG and military occurred on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 3:30 p.m. in Sitio Huton Mahablo, Barangay Silangkan in Indanan, Sulu.

The 30-minute battle resulted in the death of five bandits, including Sibih Pisih, an alleged sub-group leader of the ASG under its top leader Radullan Sahiron.

“Sibih Pisih is one of the original subgroup leaders of the ASG before the group was split into Sahiron and Sawadjaan Group,” the AFP Westmincom said in a statement.

Sibih Pisih was said to be behind the kidnapping incidents in the boundaries of Tawi-tawi and Sabah, and has a pending warrant of arrest for the killing of 22 civilians in Talipao, Sulu in 2014.

Soldiers recovered from the bandits an M653 Rifle, a Barret Sniper Rifle, and a Cal.45 Pistol.

Two Special Forces members were slightly wounded during the armed encounter and are now being treated at the military hospital in Jolo, Sulu.

The AFP said it is now working on identifying three of the slain ASG bandits.

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)

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