By Julmunir I. Jannaral
CAMP NAVARRO, Calarian, Zamboanga City: The Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) handed-over to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) the eight Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists on Friday morning; while 9 Daulah Islamiyah-Maute Group members were arrested in Lanao del Sur.
Col. Alaric Avelino Delos Santos, chief of the Public Information Office (PIO) of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) on Monday said the arrest of the notorious ASG terrorists in Sabah was due to the strengthened collaboration and cooperation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Eastern Sabah Southern Command (ESSCOM).
According to Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., commander of the WestMinCom the eight Sulu-based ASG terrorists namely: ASG Sub-Leader Sansibar Bensio, Firdaus Omar, Munimar Binda, Ladin Mujahirin Faizal, Hamzah Faizal, Sansis Mohammad, Halim Akhir, and Yusuf Akram were turned over to the Sulu Provincial Police represented by Police Lt. Col. Waylon Mang-Oy and Police Master Sergeant Rogelio Hortillas, Jr. of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 9 (CIDG 9) at the Great Bakungan (Malaki), Taganak, Tawi Tawi on Friday morning.
The hand-over activity was graced by the presence of Joint Task Force (JTF) Tawi-Tawi/2nd Marine Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas; Naval Task Group Sulu/4th Marine Brigade Commander Col. Hernanie Songano; Marine Battalion Landing Team 8 Commanding Officer Abdulmoel Alamia; Tawi-Tawi Bureau of Immigration Officer 1 Cesario Jala; and the representatives from Sabah led by ESSCOM Commander Gen. Datuk Ahmad Fuad Othman, Deputy ESSCOM Commander Brig. Gen. Adnan, Senior Assistance Commissioner Gen. Zaki Mohd Zain, and Chief of Police Gen. Hazani Ghazali.
In his message, Gen. Datuk Othman said, “The ESSCOM joins the Armed Forces of the Philippines in its advocacy to defeat and end terrorism in its areas of operation.”
Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Rojas acknowledged the unwavering support of ESSCOM that led to the successful apprehension of the terrorists.
“With our unique partnership comes great and significant endeavors. Our intelligence collaboration works and this is a manifestation of a successful anti-terrorism drive with our neighbors,” said Brig. Gen. Rojas.
“Based on reports from the ground, said ASG terrorists have already established community cell in the squatter area in Jalan Taman Sri Arjuna wherein most of the residents therein are their relatives/family members,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr.
ASGSL Sansibar Bensio, and members Muayyar Binda and Lugah Sanchez are Eastern Sulu-based ASG and were involved in numerous encounters with marine forces at Bud Bawis Complex, Panamao, Sulu.
On the same day, said ASG personalities were transported to Sulu onboard LCH 298 (BRP Ivatan) of the Philippine Navy for the presentation to Joint Task Force Sulu Commander Maj. Gen. William Gonzales and to the Sulu Provincial Police Director.
“They will be subjected to COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols which will be facilitated by the IATF Sulu prior to the filing of appropriate charges,” said Col. Songano.
Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. narrated that the eight ASG terrorists were apprehended on May 8, 2021, in Jalan Taman Sri Arjuna, Beaufort, Sabah through the successful coordination and exchange of intelligence information between ESSCOM and WESTMINCOM.
According to Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, ASGSL Sansibar Bensio, and ASGSL Mabar Binda (the known successor of his father Hatib Munap Binda) are both sub-leaders of the Abu Sayyaf Group/Kidnap-for-Ransom Group based on the eastern/second district of Sulu.
“They are involved in the series of armed confrontations with the military including the encounter on July 2011 at Sitio Tubig Magtuh, Barangay Panglayahan, Patikul, Sulu wherein the late 2nd Lt. Michael Baladad of the Philippine Marines was beheaded,” said Maj. Gen. Gonzales.
Their other involvements include the encounters on the following dates: February 2018 at Bay Sunog, Bud Bawis Complex that resulted in the deaths of five ASG members; December 2019 at Sitio Jatih, Bud Bawis Complex that resulted in the successful rescue of two Indonesian nationals and the death of the late ASGSL/KFRGL Hairulla Abduraja at Bud Bawis Complex; November 2020 at Bay Takas, Bud Bawis Complex that resulted in the deaths of ASG member Bensio Barahama and ASGSL Hatib Munap Binda.
Bensio was also involved in the kidnapping of the foreign nationals identified as Lorenzo Vinciguerra (Swiss National), Ewold Horn (Dutch National), Samiun Bin Maneu (Indonesian National), Maharudin Bin Lunani (Indonesian National), and Muhammad Farhan (Indonesian National).
Among their Filipino victims were Ronnie Sandagon, Jerel Pepito, Eddie Reubal, Marcial España, Arvin Sabaduquia, Rufino Bustillo, Joseph Bani, Hajan Terong, Joshua Bani, and Michelle Tolentino Panes.
Binda, on the other hand, was also involved in the kidnapping of the Indonesian Nationals mentioned above.
Meanwhile, combined elements of the military and police while in a joint law enforcement operation arrested
9 Daulah Islamiyah-Maute Group members and seized war materials in
Barangay Paigoay, Tubaran, Lanao del Sur on Saturday.
The Maute group members were the targets of the arrest were able to elude arrests while the law enforcers were approaching the target’s residence to serve warrants of arrest for murder and attempted murder against them.
The Maute personalities were identified as Farahufon Hadji Satar, a.k.a. Abu Zacariah/Omar, 43 years old, male, married, and resident of Brgy Paigoay; and Muna Kali, a.k.a. Abu Dimam who have eluded arrest.
The troops of the 103rd Infantry Brigade, 5th Infantry Battalion, Naval Special Operations Unit, Lanao del Sur Provincial Police Office, PNP Special Action Force, and PNP Special Operations Group were fired upon by the suspects and their cohorts,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr., WestMinCom commander.
Government forces immediately returned fire and subdued the suspects.
However, although the main targets were able to elude arrest nevertheless the operation resulted in the apprehension of nine of their cohorts identified as Camaroden Tindug, 52 years old, male, married; Sabdullah Sarip, 36, male, married; Oter Macaungun, 35, male, married; Asnare Alisood, 20, male, single; Alisood Dima, 52, male, married; Sowaib Abdullah, 18, male, married; Saaduden Adapun, 30, male, married; Zaenal Abdulatip, 33, male, married; and Aleem Salih Pitiilan, 45, male, married; all residents of Paigoay,” said Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II, 103Bde commander.
Apprehended personalities and recovered items were brought to 5IB Advance Command Post for appropriate action and disposition of the PNP SOCO.
Philippine Muslim Today