Tight security in Mindanao
PAGADIAN CITY – Police and military authorities in Western Mindanao have tightened security in the region following the recent capture of four suspected Abu Sayyaf militants, including a senior
member with links to ISIS, in Zamboanga City.
Philippine National Police Chief, General Camilo Cascolan said one of the suspects, Hassan Anang Mohammad is being implicated in the brutal murder of the 71-year old Doroteo Gonzales in May 2009.
Gonzales, a carpenter from Zamboanga City, was beheaded in Basilan province after his family failed to pay P25 million ransom in exchange for his life. Mohammad was the second militant arrested in Gonzales’ murder. In August, Brig. Gen. Jesus Cambay Jr, the regional police chief, also announced the capture of Jamiul Nassalon in Caliran village in Zamboanga Sibugay’s Mabuhay town.
Cascolan said three other militants - Kadija Sadji, 31; Abdulman Sarapuddin Tula, 32; and Jailani Al-rafee Sakandal, 31, were also captured here on Friday. Security forces recovered an improvised explosive hidden in a can of cookies, including two hand grenades, one .45-caliber pistol, rifle ammunition, batteries, concrete nails, electronic items and an ISIS flag.
He said the operations were carried out by members of the Police Regional Office-9, Regional Intelligence Group, Special Action Force, and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
“Background investigation revealed that Sadji and Tula are both members of the Abu Sayyaf group and ISIS financial conduits of Dawlah Islamiya under Mundi Sawadjaan. Tula is identified in police records as incharge of procuring logistics and provisions for the groups of Sawadjaan and Radullan Sahiron in Sulu.”
“Sadji is the wife of Al Asgar, son of the late Abu Sayyaf founder Abdurajak Janjalani. She belongs to the same financial conduit cell with Amaida Salvin who was arrested in Zamboanga City in April 16, 2019, and Merhama Abdul Sawari, alias Meng, who was among four Abu Sayyaf group sleeper agents who died in a police operation in Parañaque City last June 26,” Cascolan said.
He said Sakandal is an active member of the Philippine Coast Guard and is being interrogated to determine his role in the activities of the Abu Sayyaf.
On Saturday, security forces also captured an Indonesian bomber Rezky Fantasya Rullie
and two Filipino Abu Sayyaf militants Nur-aina Alihasan, the wife abu Sayyaf fighter Ben Yadah; and Fatima Sandra Jimlani, also the wife of another terrorist, in Sulu province.
Rullie is believed to be the daughter of the Indonesian couple who perpetrated the twin suicide bombing at Jolo Cathedral on January 27, 2019. An explosive vest rigged to a pair of pipe bombs was recovered from the trio’s hideout in San Raymundo village in the capital town of Jolo.
Cascolan, who was in Zamboanga recently, also inspected policemen and awarded those with exceptional performance and witnessed the capability demonstration of various regional police units.
He commended members of the regional police force led by Brigadier General Jesus Cambay Jr. for their notable accomplishments and lauded their initiatives in promoting the 9 strategic thrusts enshrined in the “PNP Sustainable Development Program” under the PNP P.A.T.R.O.L. Plan 2030.
A Police photo shows the readiness of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal in this simulation held at the Police Regional Office in Zamboanga City.