Military rewards man for crucial Abu Sayyaf information on terrorist leader
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Philippine military said it has rewarded an alleged informant who tipped off soldiers that led to the killing of a notorious Abu Sayyaf leader in the southern province of Sulu.
The masked man received some P1 million that the military claimed was raised by civilians in Sulu as a reward for the April 29 killing of Alhabsi Misaya in the village of Silangkan in Parang town.
The Western Mindanao Command claimed that Misaya, a former Moro National Liberation Front rebel, was killed by soldiers in a firefight, but other reports in Sulu said the militant leader was slain by one of his followers after he allegedly doubled-crossed them over ransom money. One report said he was killed by an MNLF member over an old feud. After Misaya was killed, the assailant handed over the body to soldiers in exchange for the reward money.
Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., chief of the Western Mindanao Command, personally handed the reward to the unidentified informant in Zamboanga City on May 5 and announced this the next day. “A reward was voluntarily generated by concerned individuals from Sulu who were elated of the confirmation by the Joint Task Force Sulu of Misaya’s death,” Galvez said.
“The group who requested that their identity be kept anonymous, wish to recognize the assistance extended by the informant to the Government troops as well as encourage other residents of Sulu to do the same,” he added.
In a profile released by the military, it said Misaya was involved in the October 2002 roadside bombing near an army base in Zamboanga City that killed a U.S. soldier, Sergeant Mark Jackson. Another American soldier training Philippine troops in antiterrorism and 22 other Filipinos were also wounded in the attack. Misaya was also blamed for the January 2009 bombing of Salaam Bridge in Sulu’s Indanan town that previous military commanders said was perpetrated by the MNLF.
The military said Misaya was also behind the kidnapping of a Japanese treasure hunter, Katayama Mamaito in July 2010 in Sulu’s Pangutaran town and the deadly bombing of a coffee shop in Jolo town that killed 4 civilians and injured 11 more.
And was linked by the military to the November 2012 kidnappings of Malaysians Tung Wee Jie and Tung Wee Wei in a cross-border raid in Sabah in Malaysia, and also the February 2014 kidnapping of Sugar Dianne Esperanza Buenviaje in Tawi-tawi’s Mapun town, among other heinous crimes, including the beheading of foreign and Filipino Abu Sayyaf captives.
A photo released by the military’s Western Mindanao Command shows Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., handing over some P1 million in reward money to a masked man in Zamboanga City. The man allegedly tipped off the military on the presence of Abu Sayyaf leader Alhabsi Misaya who was killed in Sulu province on April 29, 2017.