Abu Sayyaf arms supplier sentenced to up to 330 years in jail

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2018 08:04 PM | Updated as of Dec 17 2018 08:44 AM

MANILA - The Pasig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) has found a firearms supplier for the terrorist Abu Sayyaf group guilty of illegal possession of explosives, sentencing him to more than three centuries in prison.

Unding Kenneth Isa was arrested in September 2016 in San Juan City by the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP CIDG) Anti-Transnational Crime Unit (ATCU) after he had in his possession P6 million worth of high-powered firearms intended for the Abu Sayyaf Group. 

Isa ran for Sulu vice governor as an independent candidate in the May 2016 elections but lost the race. 

Pasig RTC Judge Genie Gapas-Agbada signed the court decision sentencing Isa to 11 terms of reclusion perpetua (20 to 30 years in jail) or up to 330 years of imprisonment at the New Bilibid Prison. 

CIDG-ATCU chief Supt. Roque Merdegia Jr. said the court did not believe Unding’s defense. 

“Ang kaniyang depensa una ay hindi kaniya ang baril, at diumano ay bisita lamang siya doon sa bahay ng ni-raid ng CIDG d'yan sa likod ng Camp Crame, ngunit wala naman siyang maipakita na patunay na siya ay bisita lamang doon. In fact, nakuha nga namin siya sa master's bedroom and at the same time ay d'yan naman nag-aaral ang mga anak mo malapit sa iyong bahay,” Merdegia said. 

Authorities said Unding sourced the firearms from Manila and Cavite to supply the Abu Sayyaf, a group responsible for terror attacks and kidnap for ransom activities, and other warlords in Mindanao. 

“[Ayon] sa aming informant dati, ang suspek ay siya umano ang nagsu-supply ng armas sa mga Abu Sayyaf at mga warlords sa Mindanao. Dito siya kumukuha ng iba't ibang armas sa ka-Maynilaan at ibini-biyahe niya papuntang Sulu, Basilan at iba pang lugar sa Mindanao,” Merdegia said.

Among those confiscated from Unding were an M79 grenade launcher, an M203 grenade launcher, M14 and M16 rifles, a .45 caliber pistol, heavy explosives and ammunition worth a total of P6 million.