ASG terrorists nabbed in Sabah now in custody of Philippine authorities

Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) handed-over to the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) the eight Abu Sayyaf Group terrorists morning of May 28, 2021.

According to Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command, the turn-over of the eight Sulu-Based ASG personalities, namely: ASG Sub-Leader Sansibar Bensio, Firdaus Omar, Munimar Binda, Ladin Mujahirin Faizal, Hamzah Faizal, Sansis Mohammad, Halim Akhir, and Yusuf Akram to the Sulu Provincial Police represented by Police Lt. Col. Waylon Mang-Oy and Police Master Sergeant Rogelio Hortillas, Jr. of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group 9 (CIDG 9) transpired in Great Bakungan (Malaki), Taganak, Tawi Tawi at about 9 a.m., May 28, 2021.

The hand-over activity was graced by the presence of JTF Tawi-Tawi/2nd Marine Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas, Naval Task Group Sulu/4th Marine Brigade Commander Col. Hernanie Songano, Marine Battalion Landing Team 8 Commanding Officer Abdulmoel Alamia, Tawi-Tawi Bureau of Immigration Officer 1 Cesario Jala; and the representatives from Sabah led by ESSCOM Commander Gen. Datuk Ahmad Fuad Othman, Deputy ESSCOM Commander Brig. Gen. Adnan, Senior Assistance Commissioner Gen. Zaki Mohd Zain, and Chief of Police Gen. Hazani Ghazali.

In his message, Gen. Datuk said, “The ESSCOM joins the Armed Forces of the Philippines in its advocacy to defeat and end terrorism in its areas of operation”.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Rojas acknowledged the unwavering support of ESSCOM that led to the successful apprehension of the terrorists.

“With our unique partnership comes great and significant endeavors. Our intelligence collaboration works and this is a manifestation of a successful anti-terrorism drive with our neighbors,” said Brig. Gen. Rojas.

On the same day, said ASG personalities were transported to Sulu onboard LCH 298 (BRP Ivatan) of the Philippine Navy for the presentation to Joint Task Force Sulu Commander Maj. Gen. William Gonzales and to the Sulu Provincial Police Director.

“They will be subjected to COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols which will be facilitated by the IATF Sulu prior to the filing of appropriate charges,” said Col. Songano.

Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. narrated that the eight ASG personalities were apprehended on May 8, 2021, in Jalan Taman Sri Arjuna, Beaufort, Sabah through the successful coordination and exchange of intelligence information between ESSCOM and WESTMINCOM.

“Based on reports from the ground, said ASG personalities have already established community cell in the squatter area in Jalan Taman Sri Arjuna wherein most of the residents therein are their relatives/family members,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr.

ASGSL Sansibar BENSIO, and members Muayyar Binda and Lugah Sanchez are Eastern Sulu-based ASG and were involved in numerous encounters with marine forces at Bud Bawis Complex, Panamao.

Accordingly, ASGSL Sansibar Bensio and the late ASGSL Mabar Binda were planning to conduct kidnapping activities in Sabah however, it was preempted due to the continuous exchange of information and monitoring with the target personalities which led to the successful conduct of special police operation against the group in Beaufort, Sabah. WESTERN MINDANAO COMMAND