ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/24 October) – Four suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), one of them a woman, were arrested early Saturday in Sulu as military offensive against the group continues.
Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, Joint Task Group Sulu commander, said the suspects were arrested at around 9:45 a.m. Saturday in Sitio Puti Sapah, Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul.
Arrojado said two of the suspects, aged 27 and 31, claimed to be barangay tanods in Barangay Kabbon Takas in Patikul.
Arrojado said the female suspect, aged 49, has two identification cards (IDs) bearing two different names. One ID was issued by the Department of Social Welfare and Development while the other is a voter’s ID.
He said the suspects were arrested near the clash site between Scout Rangers and Abu Sayyaf bandits led by Radullan Sahiron on Thursday afternoon in Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul.
He said the presence of the suspects at the offensive area and near Thursday’s clash site is questionable.
Arrojado has coordinated with the police to further investigate them as well as to ascertain their identities.
The government troops launched an offensive on September 22 targeting the Abu Sayyaf which is still holding 10 captives, including foreigners, in Sulu.
September 22 is a day after the kidnapping of three foreigners and a Filipina from the Oceanview Resort in the Island Garden City of Samal.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council said a week later that reports indicate the victims had been brought by their kidnappers to Sulu.
But Arrojado said that while there are “maraming” (many) reports that the victims have been brought there, there is evidence as yet to confirm they are indeed in Sulu. (MindaNews)