Fugitive with P1.3-M reward arrested in Lanao

Fugitive with P1.3-M reward arrested in Lanao

AUTHORITIES have arrested one of the most wanted persons in the country with a P1.3 million monetary reward for his arrest in a law enforcement operation in Lanao del Sur, the police said Sunday, June 9, 2024.

Arrested was Commander Wahad Gara, a gunsmith associated with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR) said.

The PRO-BAR said Gara was arrested in a law enforcement operation by way of service of warrant of arrest around 11:45 a.m. Saturday, June 8, in Tuca village, Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

The PRO-BAR said Gara has a standing warrant of arrest for violation of Article 324 of the Revised Penal Code (Crimes Involving Destruction) with no recommended bail issued by a court in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, dated August 17, 2009.

The police said Gara has been a major target due to his involvement in the 2008 Lanao del Norte attacks by the MILF, which resulted in the deaths of several civilians and military personnel, including Lieutenant Colonel Angelo Benitez, the then executive officer of the Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade.

The police said Gara remained a highly sought-after fugitive, although previous charges of multiple murder and frustrated murder against him were either dismissed or led to acquittal.

“His arrest is a significant step towards enhancing peace and order in Lanao del Sur and nearby areas,” the Pro-Bar said citing Gara has been implicated in numerous violent crimes, including murder and arson.

Gara was placed under the custody of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Lanao del Sur Provincial Field Unit for proper documentation and disposition before the warrant of arrest was returned to the issuing court.

Meanwhile, Police Brigadier Prexy Tanggawohn, PRO-BAR acting director, commended the coordinated efforts of the operating units in apprehending Gara, a high-profile fugitive.

Tanggawohn emphasized that Gara's arrest brings relief to communities affected by his actions and showcases the relentless pursuit of justice by law enforcement agencies. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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