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.