ZAMBOANGA – Combined forces of the police and the military in Lamitan City, Basilan collared three alleged member of the Abu Sayyaf Group just as they were allegedly planning to stage another attack Thursday night.
Authorities reacted to information that an armed person was sighted in the van terminal in Lamitan City.
The operatives arrested the suspect who was identified as Patek Samson alias Mungkos.
Recovered from his possession was a .45-caliber pistol with silencer.
Also arrested were his two of his companions identified as Jimboy Sahabat Mandul and Hamid Damain, both residents of Barangay Talon-Talon in Zamboanga City.
An improvised explosive device was recovered in the utility-box of one of their motorcycle. It was also discovered that the other motorcycle used by the suspects was carnapped.
Police Senior Inspector Kenneth Balisong, chief of the Lamitan City Police Office, said the suspects are believed to be responsible in the series of kidnappings, bombings, motorcycle robbery and killings of businessmen, policemen and soldiers in the province.
Investigators are still trying to establish the group's participation in the killing of Isabela City Election Officer Daryl Kinazo earlier this year.
The perpetrators were brought to the Bulwagan ng Katarungan on Friday to undergo inquest proceedings.
Judge Leo Jay Princepe said the suspects were slapped with charges for illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives.
The local Justice department is still verifying if the government has offered a monetary reward for the neutralization of the arrested suspects.