AN ALLEGED Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bomber was arrested in a joint military and police law enforcement operation in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay, military officials said Wednesday, July 24.
Lieutenant Colonel Don Templonuevo, Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion commander, identified the alleged ASG bomber as Isnaji Hasim, who was arrested around 9 a.m. Wednesday, in Bangkaw-Bangkaw village, Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Templonuevo said Hasim is a follower of Basilan-based ASG leader Furuji Indama and a close associate of Hashim Saripa based on the revelation of ASG members, who surrendered earlier.
Saripa is among those responsible in the bombing of a military checkpoint on July 31, 2018 in Lamitan, Basilan that killed 10 people and injured nine others.
Templonuevo added that Hasim was also involved in the bombing of the bus terminal on January 23, 2015 in Guiwan village, Zamboanga City, that resulted to the deaths of two people and 52 others wounded.
Hasim said seized from the possession of Hasim were a caliber .30 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), a grenade, an improvised bomb, blasting caps and other bomb-making materials.
Brigadier General Bagnus Gaerlan, Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, expressed appreciation to the concerned civilian who provided timely information to the troops that led to the arrest of Hasim.
“This is an evidence that even the locals denounce the presence of terrorist group in their communities. The 102nd Infantry Brigade will continue to hunt down the remaining terrorist who are planning to conduct atrocities in the area,” Gaerlan added.
Major General Roberto Ancan, Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, lauded the troops and the concerned civilian for the successful arrest of the ASG bomber.
“Trust, confidence and support of civilians, stakeholders and local government units to our troops will result into a successful law enforcement operation,” said Ancan, who is also the commander of the Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao provinces).
He assured the public that they will work harder in order to sustain the gains in peace and development efforts in this part of Western Mindanao.
“With the support of the PNP (Philippine National Police) and other line agencies, we are confident that our sustained law enforcement efforts will soon reap more feats,” said Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, Western Mindanao Command chief. (SunStar Philippines)