MANILA - The 8 suspected Abu Sayyaf bandits apprehended in Sabah earlier this month have been turned over to Philippine authorities, the military said Sunday.
The alleged kidnap-for-ransom group leaders and their supporters were handed over to the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) from the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) last Friday.
They were then transported to Sulu for presentation to Joint Task Force Sulu Commander Maj. Gen. William Gonzales and to the Sulu Provincial Police.
The bandits will be subjected COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols, said Col. Hernanie Songano, commander of 4th Marine Brigade and Naval Task Group Sulu.
The following were arrested on May 8 in Jalan Taman Sri Arjuna, Beaufort, Sabah, according to the military.
- ASG Sub-Leader Sansibar Bensio
- Firdaus Omar
- Munimar Binda
- Ladin Mujahirin Faizal
- Hamzah Faizal
- Sansis Mohammad
- Halim Akhir
- Yusuf Akram
“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,” Wesmincom commander Lt. Gen. Vinluan Jr. said in a statement.
Bensio and the late ASG sub-leader Mabar Binda were planning to conduct kidnapping activities in Sabah but was preempted following a "successful conduct of special police operation against the group in Beaufort, Sabah," according to the Wesmincom.
"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. Arturo Rojas, commander of Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi and 2nd Marine Brigade.
FROM THE ARCHIVES