Military, police arrest two suspected terrorists in Tawi-tawi
The military and police arrested two alleged terrorists, including a sub-leader of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in a joint operation in Tawi-tawi on Thursday morning.
Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command, government forces were conducting law enforcement operation when they arrested Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Omar Harun, alias Halipa at the vicinity of Barangay Poblacion, Taganak at around 6:25 am.
She said another member of the ASG was nabbed in separate law enforcement operation in Lagaan island also in Taganak, Tawi-Tawi on the same day.
Petinglay said the military turned over the two suspectyd Abu Sayyaf members to the PNP Bongao station for proper disposition.
She also noted that the two were said involved in different seajacking activities including the attack of Vietnam-Flag vessel MV Giang Hai at Pearl Bank, Tawi-tawi last February 19, 2017 where 6 Vietnamese crewmen were also kidnapped and one killed on the vessel.
Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., Western Mindanao Command chief, recognized the effort military and police in the arrest.
“The complementing effort of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi and the Tawi-tawi PNP is very vital in the capture of these ASG bandits” he said.
Petinglay said based on their record a total of “69 Abu Sayyaf members were apprehended by the troops within the joint area of operations” since January 1 of this year.
“Of this number, 11 were apprehended in Basilan, 43 in Sulu, 5 in Tawi-Tawi, and 10 in Zamboanga,” she said.
However, the Abu Sayyaf are still holding around 22 hostages, the military said. Robina Asido/DMS