Suspected Abu Sayyaf member spotted in Tubigon, Bohol

Suspected Abu Sayyaf member arrested in Bohol

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Suspected Abu Sayyaf member arrested in Bohol

Thursday, May 04, 2017

CEBU (Updated) -- HUNGRY and tired, suspected Abu Sayyaf member Saad Samad Kiram, 36, knocked on a house in the mountain barangay of Tan-awan, Tubigon, Bohol yesterday.

The owner (name withheld for security purposes) fed him after Kiram peacefully asked for food and clothes.

The owner also alerted authorities about his presence.

Even though he was armed with a loaded gun, Kiram made no move when soldiers from the 4th Infantry Battalion arrived to arrest him around 7 a.m.

"We caught him by surprise. While he was eating, local officials already tapped the nearest military detachment, which immediately apprehended him," Bohol Provincial Police Office Director Felipe Natividad said.

Of the 11 members of the Abu Sayyaf who went to Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Napo, Inabanga, Bohol last April 11, eight are confirmed dead.

READ: Abu Sayyaf leader, 3 others killed in Clarin, Bohol clash

Confirming identity

With Kiram's arrest, government troops are hunting down Asis and Ubayda.

Natividad said that they are validating Kiram's identity so that cases filed against him will prosper.

"He can lie about his identity so we have to check if he is really Saad so that the case won't go to waste. What if it's not really his real name?," Natividad said.

The picture released by the military and the police of a certain Kaifar Sawadjaan, alias Saad/Omar, is not of Kiram, but of another person with the same alias.

"The one on the picture died some two or three years ago and he (Kiram) was not in the gallery," a police source said.

Found inside Kiram's bag were a .45 pistol with two magazines with 12 live bullets, a hand grenade, six cellphone batteries, two SIM cards, coffee, a lighter and a wallet, among others.

Kiram will be charged with violating Republic Act (RA) 9516 for possessing a hand grenade and RA 10591 for the pistol.

He was taken to Camp Bernido in Tagbilaran City for interrogation before he was transported to Camp Dagohoy in the afternoon to be booked.

Kiram received treatment for the infected bullet wound in his left shoulder, which he sustained during the Inabanga clash.

Deputy Regional Chief Insp. Hector Amancia said that the coordination between the community and authorities led to Kiram's arrest.

"It was peaceful and there was no bloodshed. We are thankful to our men as well as the military for their prompt action," he said.

Kiram is suspected of being the same man, who approached a farmer in Barangay Buenos Aires last month.

Natividad said Kiram and his two companions are trying to leave the island.

"They were on their way to the shoreline to attempt blending with the ferry passengers," Natividad said.

Debriefing

The family who tipped the military and the police will receive the P1.1 million reward from President Rodrigo Duterte and the local government.

In a joint statement, the military and police announced that “Kiram, a native of Tulayan, Luuk, Sulu, volunteered to give information about the ASG's (Abu Sayyaf Group) plan, composition and capabilities and confirmed the dissolution of the threat in the province of Bohol.”

Kiram operated one of the pumpboats the terrorists used to get to Inabanga for P10,000.

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 7 Chief Royina Garma said that it was Kiram's companion, a certain Said Santos, who contacted Supt. Maria Cristina Nobleza and bomb expert Renierlo Dongon, for a rescue.

Meanwhile, Garma said Dongon's mother Judith was already released but the 13-year-old girl was transported to the national headquarters of the Department of Social Welfare and Services.

The two were in the car with Nobleza and Renierlo when the couple were arrested in Clarin last April 22.

"It's dangerous because she grew in a family involved in terrorism for 13 years. She needs debriefing and processing," Garma said.

Harassed

As for Nobleza, Garma said that they are analyzing the data they extracted from her cellphone and SIM cards.

"There's an inspirational message from bin Laden, tutorials on how to groom children for ISIS, how to teach women how to use guns and training for their members to kill people. These are the evidences we have to prove her participation in terrorism activities," Garma said.

Meanwhile, an army detachment was harassed in Datag, Inabanga where 45 empty shells of an AK-47 were recovered, said Capt. Jojo Mascariña, 302nd Brigade spokesperson.

"We view it as a diversion or distraction from the ASG and other armed groups to escape. We are still investigating the incident and no one was hurt in the army and the civilians," Mascariñas said.

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