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ASG member falls in Zambo Del Norte

February 8, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 214 views

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. on Wednesday announced the capture of a suspected member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) wanted for involvement in gun-for-hire activities and other attacks on government personalities in Zamboanga del Norte, the latest of which left five persons dead last month.

The top cop said the arrested suspect, with the alias “Mas-ud Alip Hassan,” was tagged as among the top 10 “most wanted persons” in Zamboanga del Norte.

Members of the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) under Major Gen. Edgar Alan O. Okubo and the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) headed by Brigadier Gen. Rodolfo D. Castil Jr. tracked down the suspect in his hiding place in Barangay Panabutan in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte around 5:30 p.m. last Monday.

The PNP-SAF and AKG operatives were joined by officers from the Police Regional Office (PRO) 9 under Brig. Gen. Neil B. Alinsangan arrested the suspect on the strength of a warrant of arrest for murder issued by Judge Anthony D. Isaw of the Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 9.

According to Azurin, the elusive suspect is wanted for his involvement in an ambush in Bgy. Piña in Sirawai municipality which killed Bgy. Balabuan chairman Ali Manangca and four others last January 26 and the shooting of an ex-militiaman in Bgy. Doña Cecilia, also in Sirawai town.

The PNP chief said that the suspect is a known member of the Lumarang Crime Group involved in gun-for-hire activities in the province.

The gang is also affiliated with ASG under Sub-leaders Almujer Yada alias “Ben Tattoo” and two others operating in Sulu province, he added.

The suspect is also known for his strong ties with a notorious kidnapping-for-ransom gang leader operating in the provinces of Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.

“Follow-up operation for other members of this terrorist group is also underway in coordination with our military and local government counterparts to put an end to the criminal activities of these terrorists,” Azurin said.

The suspect is now under heavy police security pending official jail commitment order on him.