ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – Authorities arrested two suspected members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) on an island off Isabela City in Basilan Thursday afternoon, security officials reported yesterday.
Police seized a grenade, a homemade 9-mm pistol and a knife from the suspects identified as Dante Moreno and a certain Macapili, said to be MNLF members based in Cotabato City.
The suspects were arrested at around 6 p.m. on Malamawi Island, said Superintendent Albert Larubis, Isabela City police chief.
Larubis said the arrest came after residents informed authorities of the arrival of 10 armed men on the island. He said responding police officers spotted the two suspects who ran toward a pumpboat.
The suspects claimed they were on the island to accompany their leader, whom they identified as Hadji Bensali Saripa, said to be the MNLF chief for Saudara Division based in Maguindanao.