THE police have arrested two alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in downtown Zamboanga City, the police said Saturday, January 13.
Chief Inspector Helen Galvez, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula information officer, identified them as Emran Ismael, who carries the aliases of Bantong Basinti and Bantong Basiri; and, Bryan Mohammad alias Pojong Attiun.
Galvez said they were arrested at 9:15 p.m. Friday at a shopping mall along La Purisima Street in the village of Zone III, Zamboanga City.
She said the suspects have standing warrants of arrest for the crime of seven-count kidnapping and serious illegal detention penalized under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines with no recommended bail.
She said the suspects were involved in the kidnapping of seven workers of the Golden Harvest Plantation on June 11, 2001 in the village of Tairan, Lantawan, Basilan.
She said they were positively identified by two witnesses who are under the witness protection and security benefit program of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The Abu Sayyaf bandits executed by beheading some of the hostages while the others have either escape or rescued by pursuing military troops.
They were arrested four days after joint police and military operatives have arrested an alleged explosive expert of the ASG in a pension house in this city.
Arrested on Monday was Benjar Engeng alias Ben Akmad, a native of Basilan province and temporarily residing in Maharlika Village, Taguig City.
Engeng was arrested in a law enforcement operation by way of serving search warrant at a pension house in the village of Divisoria, Zamboanga City. (SunStar Philippines)