(UPDATED) Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Archie Gamboa on Friday, August 14, 2020, said the police in Davao City has taken Abu Sayyaf leader Abduljihad "Edang" Susukan into custody.
Susukan was turned over to the Davao City Police Office by Moro National Liberation Front founder Nur Misuari in his residence in Yñigue Subdivision in Maa, Davao City.
Following his arrest, Susukan underwent booking procedure at the Davao City Police Station and medical examination at the Camp Quintin Merecido Hospital.
Susukan had 23 standing arrest warrants for murder, five for kidnapping and serious illegal detention, and six for frustrated murder.
Gamboa said Misuari had facilitated the negotiation between Davao City Police Office Director Kirby John Kraft and Susukan, who was reportedly in Davao City to seek medical attention.
“The PNP immediately advised Mayor Inday Sara Duterte, who assured us of her full cooperation and assistance, to ensure the peaceful handover and orderly transfer of custody to proper authorities,” Gamboa said in a statement.
A local official said Susukan had been staying in Misuari’s residence since Tuesday, August 11.
PNP spokesperson Bernard Banac said the police coordinated with Misuari after receiving information about Susukan’s location.
“Na-monitor ng ating PNP ang presensya nitong si Edang Susukan at hindi lang natin ma-pinpoint kung saan. Kaya tayo ay nakipag-ugnayan kay chairman Nur Misuari at sa tulong ni chairman Nur Misuari ay nagawa niya na itong si Edang Susukan ay madala doon sa kanyang residence,” Banac said in an interview.
“Hindi pa lang natin alam kung sino ang nagdala at ano ang naging or papaano ang naging negosasyon sa panig nila. Ang mahalaga, na-secure natin itong si Edang Susukan sa residence ni Nur Misuari at doon natin inihain ang warrants of arrest,” he added.
Davao Police Regional Office Director Filmore Escobal said Susukan will be turned over to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for security purposes.
Susukan will be presented to Jolo, Sulu courts for the return of his arrest warrants.
Escobal said it is possible that the court proceedings of Susukan will be transferred to Manila.
Meanwhile, AFP spokesperson Edgard Arevalo said the military is prepared for possible retaliation by the Abu Sayyaf.
“Alam natin na dahil sa pangyayaring ito malaking dagok sa hanay ng Abu Sayyaf ang pagkaka-arestong ito kay Susukan at ganun din inatasan ng ating AFP Chief of Staff ang pamunuan ng sandatahang lakas ng Pilipinas sa bahagi ng Sulu, upang mas lalong paigtingin ang kampanya at pag-iingat dahil inaasahan natin na bukod sa demoralisasyson sa ranggo ng Abu Sayyaf ay maaari silang magsagawa sila ng pagganti dahil sa pagkahuli nito,” he said in a statement.
Asked whether the military believes Misuari was coddling Susukan, Arevalo said, "hindi tayo ang nasa posisyon para sagutin ang katanungan na ‘yan. We are not the spokesperson of chairman Misuari. But nakasisiguro naman tayo na meron siyang dahilan at kung ano ang mga sagot sa katanungan na ‘yan.” (SunStar Philippines)