Jolo attack shows terrorists’ opposition to BOL — political scientist

admin   •   January 29, 2019   •   2600

Courtesy: AFP WESTMINCOM

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research chairman, Prof. Rommel Banlaoi thinks that the twin blasts that rocked a Catholic church in Jolo, Sulu is the terrorists’ way of expressing opposition to the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).

Banlaoi explained that the bombing was thoroughly planned and conducted after the conduct of first BOL referendum held last January 21 in Cotabato City, Isabela in Basilan and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. 

He added that the incident will serve as a challenge to members of the Bangsamoro government since the BOL is envisioned to bring peace and stability in the region.

 “Lumalabas na hindi kinakatakutan ng mga terrorist group kung ano man ang itatayong Bangsamoro government dahil iba ang sinusulong nilang pamahalaan. Ang sinusulong nila ay Islamic State na link sa ISIS,” said Banlaoi.

(It shows that the terrorist group is not afraid of the Bangsamoro government because they are pushing for an ISIS-linked Islamic State.)

Banlaoi also believes that the Abu Sayyaf Group is linked to the bomb attack. Based on their studies, the twin bombing is a signature of a terrorist group that is assisted by international militants.  

Banlaoi also pointed out some similarities in the Jolo bombing to the Rizal Day bombing in 2000 and the Valentine’s Day attack in 2005 that were both claimed by the Abu Sayyaf.

 “Yang Abu Sayyaf Group, foreign assisted yan kaya doon nila natutunan ang pagsasagawa ng bomba at yang estilo ng pagatake particularly ang pagta-target sa isang Christian entity,” said the professor.

(The Abu Sayyaf Group is assisted by foreign terrorists from whom they learned bomb-making and the targeting of Christian entities as a style of attack.) — UNTV News & Rescue

Suspected Abu Sayyaf member nabbed in Quezon City

Robie de Guzman   •   September 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday said it has arrested an Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) member in an operation conducted in Culiat, Quezon City last week.

NBI officer-in-charge, director Eric Distor identified the suspect as Albazir Abdulla alias Abu Saif.

The operatives of the NBI-Counter Terrorism Division (CTD) arrested Abdulla, who is facing kidnapping and serious illegal detention charges for his alleged involvement in the 2001 Golden Harvest Plantation kidnapping case.

The operation was launched after NBI sources reported sightings of Abdulla in Metro Manila. A victim-witness also identified him in a CTD photo line-up as one of the abductors and a member of the ASG.

A series of casing and surveillance operations was conducted by the NBI-CTD in coordination with counterparts from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), to gather more information, which revealed the actual residence of Abdulla.

The arrested suspect was brought to NBI Detention Facility.

Distor said Abdulla is the second ASG member they arrested in Metro Manila this year. In May, operatives nabbed alleged ASG member Wahab Jamal alis Ustadz Halipa at Maharlika Village in Taguig.

The NBI said that the ASG group headed by their late leader Isnilon Hapilon and other senior ASG leaders raided the Golden Harvest Plantation in Brgy. Tairan, Lantawan, Basilan Province.

The terrorists seized the supplies from sari-sari stores and houses; livestock, firearms and ammunition from the plantation security. They also burned a chapel and detained 14 plantation workers, two of whom were beheaded by the terrorist group.

After four months of captivity, the victims were able to escape on separate occasions during the rescue operations by the government security forces.

After the incident, the ASG stayed in the mountains and some of its members assimilated back to society as “sleepers” or “spies,” the NBI said.

Six Abu Sayyaf members yield in Sulu

Marje Pelayo   •   August 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Joint Task Force Sulu reported the surrender of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits on Tuesday (August 24).

The surrenderers were identified as:

  1. Abral Samsidari (under ASG leader Radulan Sahiron)
  2. Marjin Basal (under ASG leader Radulan Sahiron)
  3. Alnajer Kaisal (under sub-leader Alhabsi Misaya)
  4. Basir Lahan (under sub-leader Apoh Mike)
  5. Munil Jumarain (under Almujer Yadah)
  6. Padih Hamsari (under Almujer Yadah)

The group also yielded one bushmaster rifle, two M1 garand rifles and one hand grenade fragmentation.

“Nararamdaman na talaga ng mga kababayan natin na gumaganda na kalidad ng buhay sa probinsya. Nakakatuwa na mayroon na naman tayong mga kapatid na naliwanagan at napiling magbalik loob sa ating gobyerno. Ngayong araw, isa-isa namin silang kinausap para talagang malaman paano ba sila napunta sa ganoong klaseng sitwasyon,” said newly installed 1102ND Brigade Commander Col. Giovanni Franza.

(Our countrymen are beginning to feel the improvement in the quality of life in the province. It feels good to know that some [ASG members] have finally seen reason and decided to return to the government fold. Today we had a chance to speak with them individually to find out how they ended up in the situation they were in.)

The surrender was facilitated by the 35th Infantry Battalion led by Lt.Col. Wilfredo Borgonia.

According to Joint Task Force – Sulu and 11ID Commander MGen William Gonzales, a total of 19 ASG members came forward and formally surrendered to the government forces for this month of August.

The official commended the cooperation of local government units for their part in the campaign for peace in Sulu.

“I am very grateful that the local chief executives are stepping up. We are all hand in hand in preparing these people to reintegrate to mainstream society,” MGen Gonzales said in a statement.

Abu Sayyaf member nabbed in Jolo is an active non-uniformed PNP personnel – Eleazar

Robie de Guzman   •   August 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – An active non-uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) who allegedly has links with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was arrested in Jolo, PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar said.

In a statement, Eleazar identified the suspect as Masckur Adoh Patarasa alias Makong/Omair Sali Taib.

Patarasa, a brother-in-law of the late Isnilon Hapilon, was arrested during a police operation in Barangay Asturias last Friday, July 30.

Eleazar said Patarasa is presently assigned at Banguingui Municipal Police Station in Sulu but was found out to be working as finance/logistics liaison officer of Dauwla Islamiya/ASG.

He added that the suspect’s name was also included in the Martial Law Arrest Order No. 1 during the Marawi Siege in 2017.

“Patarasa is the subject of Warrants of Arrest issued by Honorable LEO JAY T. PRINCIPE, Presiding Judge, RTC, 9th Judicial Region, Branch 1, Isabela City, Basilan as an accused in seven separate cases of kidnaping and serious illegal detention,” Eleazar said.

Police records revealed that in May 2017, Patarasa, together with an unidentified individual linked with ASG, planned to transact the sending of funds to ASG members fighting in Marawi City thru his brother-in-law Isnilon Hapilon.

Eleazar said Patarasa joined the ASG in 2001 under Khadaffy Janjalani in Basilan and later shifted to ASG Senior Leader Radullan Sahiron in Sulu.

He was also known to have direct contact with Jemaah Islamiyah operative AMIN Baco alias Guro Jihad and other ASG personalities.

Investigation also revealed that Patarasa allegedly received funds from Almaida Salvin, a designated terrorist included in the U.S. Treasury’s sanctions list who was arrested sometime in April 2019 for illegal possession of explosives thru Merhama Sawari who was neutralized in Parañaque City shootout together with three suspected terrorists in June 2020.

“I am glad that our personnel were able to arrest the subject person, this still forms part of the Intensified Cleanliness Policy that we are implementing, Cleanliness of the ranks should be maintained to regain the trust and confidence of the people to our organization,” Eleazar said.

I commend our units here in Region 9 as well as other units involved in the arrest of this person, your action is a reflection of our campaign to keep the organization free from persons with ill motives. Let us join hands in keeping the Philippine National Police a respectable organization, true to its mandate to serve and protect the people,” he added.

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