PNP rescues 3 kidnapped Indonesians in Tawi-Tawi

Maris Federez   •   March 19, 2021   •   307

MANILA, Philippines — Operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Tawi-Tawi have rescued three kidnapped Indonesian fishermen in the municipality of South Ubian.

PLt.Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said, based on the reports that reached the PNP Command Center in Camp Crame, the Indonesian nationals were identified as Arizal Kasta Miran, male, 30 years old; Arsad Bin Dahlan, male, 41 years old; and Andi Riswanto, male, 26 yrs old.  All three are residents of Kabupaten Wakatobi Municipality, Sulawesi Tengara, Indonesia.

Arrested in the rescue operation was one of their captors, Suhud Salasim alias Ben Wagas, 45, a resident of Maimbung, Sulu.  Salasim is reportedly a member of the Abu Sayyaf group.

The three Indonesians said they were fishing in Tambisan, Sandakan in Sabah along with 5 others on January 15, 2020, when seven armed men took them by force and brought them to Sulu province.

They said bad weather caused their motorboat to capsize along the shore of Pasigan Laut, South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, while they were fleeing from authorities.

Tandubas Municipality Police Station chief PCpt. AL Kenneth Cayanga said they received a report on Thursday at 5:30 PM about the sea mishap and proceeded to the area to conduct rescue operation.

The three Indonesians said their abductors freed three of their companions, while the other one got separated from them when their motorboat capsized. One died while their kidnappers were engaged in a firefight with AFP troops.

“The PNP in coordination with the Coast Guard is conducting search operations for other missing persons lost at sea. Meanwhile, we are also coordinating with the Indonesian government to validate the identities of the victims and find their families”, Eleazar said.

2 Abu Sayyaf Group leaders, 6 members arrested in Sabah

Robie de Guzman   •   May 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Two alleged sub-leaders and six members of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were nabbed in Jalan Taman Sri Arjuna, Beaufort, Sabah, a military official said Monday.

In a statement, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) chief Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan Jr. said the joint operation that occurred around 3 a.m. on Saturday, May 8, was jointly conducted by troops from the AFP and the Malaysia’s Eastern Sabah Southern Command (ESSCOM).

The military identified the arrested persons as Sansibar Bensio, and Mabar Binda, both sub-leaders of the Eastern Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf Group;

Muayyar Binda, a certain Sansis, and a certain Firdaus, who are all under Mabar Binda; Lugah Sanchez and Bonijar Samsula, both members under the late ASG sub-leader Juhurim Hussein (Patikul-based); and Alim Sukarno, a member under Sansibar Bensio.

According to Joint Task Force Sulu commander Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, Bensio and 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,” Gonzales said.

The military said the two were also involved in the encounters at Bay Sunog, Bud Bawis Complex in February 2018 that resulted in the deaths of five ASG members;  Sitio Jatih, Bud Bawis Complex in December 2019 that resulted in the rescue of two Indonesian nationals and the death of the late ASG sub-leader Hairulla Abduraja; and the encounter at Bay Takas, Bud Bawis Complex in November 2020 that resulted in the deaths of ASG member Bensio Barahama and sub-leader Hatib Munap Binda.

“Bensio was also involved in the kidnapping of 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),” the AFP-WestMinCom said.

The group also victimized several Filipinos, including 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.

According to 4th Marine Brigade Commander Col. Hernanie Songano, the now-apprehended group of ASG bandits fled to Sabah where they established an ASG cell after they were forced out of the province of Sulu due to focused military operations and civil-military cooperation.

“The intensified intelligence operations and the support of the community coupled with the constant coordination between the AFP and the ESSCOM contributed to the successful neutralization of the ASG sub-leaders and their cohorts. The arrest of these terrorists is a big blow to the ASG” Vinluan said.

“My congratulations to the troops of the Joint Task Force Sulu and the ESSCOM for the aggressive measures taken to ensure that these terrorists will not be able to conduct horrendous activities anymore particularly off waters of Sabah” he added.

New PNP Chief assures no shaming, exercise for health protocol violators

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 10, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — New Philippine National Police (PNP) chief PGen. Guillermo Eleazar has assured that health protocol violators will not be shamed or be forced to exercise.

Eleazar clarified that individuals who are not wearing face masks or are not wearing face masks properly will be accosted but will be sent home after proper documentation and process. Violators will be taken to the nearest police station and will be investigated before receiving proper sanctions.

Walang makukulong dahil sa hindi pagsusuot lamang ng mask. Walang masasaktan. Walang mag- eexercise. Walang ipahihiya (No one will be imprisoned just because of not wearing masks. No one will be hurt. There will be no exercise. There will be no shaming),” he said.

If violators will be fined, Eleazar said, they will be given a ticket. If they will do community service, it will be scheduled. Violators will not be charged unless necessary.

Eleazar said the PNP will coordinate with the local government to make sure the city has holding facilities so as not to crowd police stations.

Ang bilin ko sa inyo, ang bilin ni Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año bago kayo mag-arestuhan tingnan nyo muna kung may paglalagyan kayo sa inyong opisina. Dahil ang ayaw naman natin kapag inaresto niyo iyan ay kumpol kumpol pa doon. So coordinate with your local government unit at barangay (My directive, as well as the directive of DILG Secretary Eduardo Año is, before any arrest, make sure there is a place in your office where you can put them. We don’t want them to cramp in one area once arrested. So, coordinate with your local government unit and the barangay), he said. -AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

PNP chief Eleazar orders preparation of detention areas for face mask policy violators

Robie de Guzman   •   May 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Eleazar has directed police commanders to coordinate with local authorities for the preparation of facilities that will be used as detention areas for those apprehended for improper wearing of face masks in public places.

During his first command conference on Saturday, Eleazar said police commanders should work closely with local officials in identifying detention facilities in each community.

The newly-installed PNP chief issued the directive in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent order to apprehend and investigate persons improperly wearing face masks while in public.

“One of the concerns that needs to be addressed is the availability of our detention cells. Alam naman natin na bago pa ang direktibang ito ng ating Pangulo, may mga pagkakataong kinukulang na talaga ang ating mga pasilidad kung kaya’t dapat natin itong paghandaan,” he said in a statement released Sunday.

“Makipagtulungan tayo sa mga lokal na opisyal, kasama ang barangay, para malaman natin kung aling mga lugar sa bawat komunidad ang maaari nating gamiting detention facilities para sa mga sadyang pasaway,” he added.

Eleazar also stressed that physical distancing must still be observed in detention areas to avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease.

“Mababalewala ang paghuli sa kanila kung walang social distancing sa ating mga detention areas,” he said.

He likewise reminded police officials that persons arrested for violation of minimum public health safety standards can only be held for a maximum of 12 hours unless charges are filed against them.

The Department of Justice earlier said that the guidelines, which will include the process of booking, detention, and investigation to avoid overcrowding, is currently being crafted.

Eleazar further reminded police officers to observe maximum tolerance in arresting violators and warned them against abusive behavior.



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