CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Seven (7) individuals were arrested and numerous firearms and explosives were seized during the conduct of a joint law enforcement operation by the combined security forces coming from Joint Task Force Central and local PNP units at Sitio Super, Barangay Curahab, Malabang, Lanao del Sur on September 30, 2021.
The arrest was part of a hot pursuit operation conducted by the joint elements of Battalion Landing Team-5 (MBLT-5) of 1st Marine Brigade, Malabang Municipal Police Station, and 2nd Provincial Mobile Force Company of Lanao del Sur Police against an armed lawless group operating in the area following a reported attack targeting the community in Barangay Bunkhouse, Malabang, Lanao del Sur late in the evening of 29 September 2021. Earlier reports also indicated that the same group was responsible in the earlier two related harassments against the said community.
Lt.Col. Tino Maslan PN (M), Commanding Officer of MBLT-5 identified the arrested suspects as Alican Sarip, 42; Tataw Sarip, 34; Taop Rauf, 19; Jojo Marohom, 28; Naim Abdul, 33; Ryan Sarip, 18; and Faisal Dima, 31, and all are allegedly from Balabagan, Lanao del Sur. “We have been monitoring this armed lawless group for some time. The timely response of the joint elements of Marines and PNP during the harassment led to the said arrest of the members of this armed lawless group which will definitely pose a significant impact to the peace and order situation in this part of Lanao del Sur”, Lt.Col. Maslan said.
The seized firearms include one (1) .50 Cal “Barret” sniper rifle, five (5) M16A1 rifles, one (1) M79 grenade launcher, two (2) Cal .45 pistols, one (1) Cal .38 pistol, one (1) fragmentary hand grenade, five (5) 40mm grenade launcher ammunition and different types of ammunition and war materials.
Brig. Gen. Jonas R Lumawag PN(M), Commander of 1st Marine Brigade, lauded MBLT-5 for their swift action against the suspects. “The Marines in Lanao del Sur will never tolerate any form of armed lawlessness to thrive and disrupt the socio-economic and political stability in Malabang” he said. “This operation is part of the efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to prevent and counter violent extremism. The success of the operation against armed lawless elements is the manifestation of the robust partnership between the Marines and Police in Lanao del Sur.”
The Commander of JTF Central and 6th Infantry Division, PA, Maj. Gen. Juvymax R Uy underscored the importance of this accomplishment. “This operation contributes primarily on the government’s drive against loose firearms in order to maintain the peace and security in these parts of Central Mindanao as the national and local elections approaches”, said Maj. Gen. Uy, while calling on the communities and residents of Lanao del Sur and its nearby provinces to help and cooperate with the security forces in ensuring a safe and peaceful community by reporting the presence of suspicious individuals and groups to the nearest AFP and PNP installations in their respective localities.