POLICE and military units are on high alert over possible retaliatory attacks from the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) following the killing of four of its members, including the brother of bomb expert Mundi Sawadjaan.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Guillermo Eleazar and Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) commander Corleto Vinluan both said on Monday, June 14, 2021 they were expecting a retaliatory attack from the ASG following the killing of Al-Al Sawadjaan, brother of Mundi Sawadjaan who allegedly architected the August 24, 2020 twin bombings in Jolo.
Al-al Sawadjaan, Injam Yadah and two members of ASG were killed in a firefight with police and military before dawn Sunday.
State security forces were about to serve a warrant of arrest against Yadah when the Abu Sayyaf terrorists fired at them, prompting the police and the military to retaliate.
“I am tasking the local police to go on full alert dahil ine-expect din po natin na posibleng gumanti ang mga natitirang miyembro lalo’t kapatid ni Mundi Sawadjaan ang isa sa mga napatay sa engkwentro,” Eleazar said.
“Sinisiguro ko po sa publiko na hindi po namin hahayaang makapaghasik ng kaguluhan ang grupong ito,” he added.
Vinluan said the joint PNP-AFP units were intensifying patrolling in strategic areas in Sulu such as the markets, police and military detachments, Christian-dominated areas and densely populated areas.
He said focused military operations against the members of the ASG are continuous.
“Tuloy pa rin ‘yung focused military operation natin against the ASG, especially itong si Mundi Sawadjaan saka ibang supporters niya pero ‘yung nakapaikot sa kanya halos ubos na eh,” said Vinluan.
“Although napaganda naman nitong Covid protocols dahil bawal na ‘yung mga gatherings, so yun ang isang advantage ng, although ayaw natin ng pandemic, pero ginagamit natin ‘yung advantage na yun,” he added.
Among the seven Sawadjaan siblings, only Mundi remains alive.
“Si Mundi kasi marunong siya e, pinapasubo nya ‘yung mga tao nya, siya naman nandun sya tago-tago lang, kung encounter tumatakbo siya kaagad,” he said.
“Yun din ang sinasabi ng mga nagsu-surrender sa amin na si Mundi, hindi siya ‘yung warrior talaga, tago lang ng tago, ‘yung sa kanya lang yung makapag-inflict ng casualty dahil marunog siya sa, marunong siya na gumawa ng IED (improvised explosive device),” Vinluan added. (SunStar Philippines)