Mundi Sawadjaan still in Patikul, Sulu —WestMinCom Chief

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 1, 2020   •   871

Contrary to previous reports, Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) chief MGen. Corleto Vinluan said Mundi Sawadjaan is still in Patikul, Sulu.

Sawadjaan, who is believed to be behind the Jolo twin blasts, is allegedly in Central Mindanao as reported by the Zamboanga Police. However, Vinluan said the military encountered Sawadjaan and his group a few days ago in Patikul.

“Nandoon siya sa ano talaga sa Sulu. As of this report, nasa Patikul pa rin siya. Iyon ang hinahabol ng tropa, na-encounter nila parang two days ago yata na-encounter (He is still in Sulu. As of this report, he is still in Patikul. Our troops were hunting him down which led to an encounter two days ago),” Vinluan said.

Vinluan said Sawadjaan and his group are just diverting the focus of security officials and lessen military pressure amid the manhunt operations being conducted against them.

Meanwhile, the Zamboanga police implemented checkpoints as precautionary measures amid terrorist threats in the area while the military continues its manhunt operation for Sawadjaan. -AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Over P20-M worth of illegal drugs seized in Sulu buy-bust ops

Robie de Guzman   •   March 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Some P20.4 million worth of suspected shabu were confiscated in a buy-bust operation conducted in Jolo town of Sulu province, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday.

Citing a report from the Police Regional Office Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR), PNP officer-in-charge PLt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the illegal drugs were seized in an operation conducted on Sunday at Barangay Walled City.

Police said the buy-bust operation was jointly launched by intel operatives from Jolo MPS, Indanan MPS, 11th and 35th Mobile Intelligence Battalion, in cooperation with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in the Bangsamoro region.

Operatives also arrested a drug suspect, identified as Ejek Ali Abduhalim, 44, during the operation.

“Seized from the suspect were one paper bag with more or less three kilograms of suspected shabu with a street value of P20.4 million and two mobile phones,” Eleazar said.

The suspect is now facing criminal charges violating Sections 5 and 11 of the Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

“The PNP is working double-time to stop the proliferation of illegal drugs in every region across the country, as we continue to intensify our anti-illegal drugs operations,”  Eleazar said.

AFP traces Abu Sayyaf hideout in Sulu, 4 members surrender

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has traced one of the hideouts of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu.

AFP Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) said their 2nd Special Forces Battalion found one of ASG’s hideouts on Sunday (February 7) in Barangay Danag, Patikul while conducting combat operation.

Meanwhile, four more ASG members surrendered and turned over firearms to the 6th Special Forces Battalion in Sulu on Sunday. They are apart from the 17 ASG members that surrendered in January.

In 2020, almost 100 terrorist members surrendered to the authorities.

The AFP continues to conduct hot pursuit operations against around 70 ASG members operating under ASG leader Radullan Sahiron in Sulu. AAC (with reports from Val Villaflor)

Parts of Zamboanga City, Jolo town flooded due to heavy rains

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Heavy rains due to a low pressure area (LPA) spotted in the vicinity of Western Mindanao have resulted in flooding in parts of Zamboanga City and Jolo town proper in Sulu.

Floodwater due to rains that poured overnight since Sunday until before dawn on Monday affected many residents in Barangays Talisayan, Patalon, and Ayala.

Local authorities said the floodwaters reached knee-deep in some areas in the city and affected around 200 families. High-value crops and rice fields in the said areas were also affected.

The City’s Emergency Response Teams have been deployed to monitor the situation, and to evacuate, when necessary, residents in coastal barangays amid the weather disturbance.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported it has assisted in the evacuation of residents in Jolo, Sulu affected by the flooding in Barangays Asturias, Tulay, Hadju Butu, Chinese Pier, Serrantes, Takut-Takut, and Alat.

Photos posted by the PCG on its Facebook page show knee-deep floods and residents wading on water holding onto ropes held by rescuers.

No casualties were reported.

The state weather agency on Monday said the LPA was estimated at 90 kilometers southeast of Zamboanga City, embedded along the intertropical convergence zone.

The weather bureau warned that the combined effects of the weather disturbance will bring moderate to heavy rains in some parts of Mindanao and may cause flashfloods and landslides in areas prone to these hazards. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)

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