Cops seize P6M in firearms from suspected Abu Sayyaf supplier
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police seized over P6 million worth of high-powered firearms and bullets from suspects believed to have supplied weapons to the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and “war lords” in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa, who presented the seized firearms to the media on Tuesday, September 27, said the loot was worth around P6 million.
The PNP’s Anti-Transnational Crimes Unit (ATCU) of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) seized the weapons and ammunitions on Saturday, September 24. The haul consisted of 5 M4 carbines with M203 grenade launchers, 6 M79 grenade launchers, 2 M14 riffles, 1 AR15 rifle, 1 .45 calibre with two magazines and various bullets.
In a statement, the CIDG identified the suspects as Unding Kenneth Isa, the subject of their search warrant, a certain Hja Risdimona Isa, Aljamer Akarab Mandih, and Hurbin Alhi Sahibul. They were arrested at Barangay West Came in San Juan City, a short distance from the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Isa ran for Sulu vice governor in the May elections but lost. He was an independent candidate who only got a little over 4% of votes cast.
The CIDG first received information about the suspect in July this year, about the Indanan, Sulu, natives who were supposedly “gun runners and leaders of a gun running group” that caters to the ASG and ARMM “war lords.” The firearms are supposedly brought to Jolo, Sulu, from Manila via Zamboanga on board sports utility vehicles.
Chief Inspector Roque Merdegia, ATCU chief, said operations of the group “intensified” in August 2016, or just as the government launched its operations against the ASG.
Citing intelligence it gathered, the CIDG said that in August, supposed ASG members visited Manila to buy M203 and M14 firearms, explosives, and ammunition “upon orders of an unidentified ASG commander.”
Police have filed cases against the suspects for violating Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and RA 9516 or the Illegal Possession of Explosives. – Rappler.com