SECURITY troops yesterday morning raided a suspected terrorist safehouse in Parañaque City where they shot dead four heavily-armed suspects during an ensuing gunbattle, a report to Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa said.
Members of the PNP Intelligence Group, National Capital Region Police Office, Armed Forces and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency stormed the suspects’ safehouse at Block 5, Lot 4, Annex 46 in Better Living Subdivision on the strength of a search warrant for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013 issued by Judge Noemi Balitaan of the Parañaque City Regional Trial Court Branch 258, said PNP-IG director, Brigadier Gen. Joseph Gohel.
Balitaan said during the raid, the targets of the raid identified as Merhama Abdul Sawari alias ‘Mheng,’ Bensaudi Sali alias ‘Bhenz,’ Rasmin Hussin and Jamal Kalimming resisted and lobbed a grenade at the officers before firing shots at them.
One policeman identified as Corporal Ehrol Gamboa of the NCRPO Regional Special Operations Unit was shot in both legs during the initial volley of fire and was taken to St. Lukes Global City for treatment.
Officers retaliated, killing the four suspects on the spot.
Recovered inside the raided place were three blasting caps, different kinds of wire, two bottles containing suspected explosive materials, two caliber .45 pistols, a cal. .38 revolver, cal. 5.56 revolver, an M-16 automatic rifle, dozens of live ammunition, two black ISIS flags, two hand grenades, a plastic container with suspected explosive ingredients, an improvised firing device and a 9-volts battery.
A record check showed that Sawariis, a native of Jolo, Sulu, is married to Abu Sayyaf Group member Sali who is presently working as a security guard at Lancris Residence in Parañaque City.
Both were tagged as the ‘financial conduits’ of the Daesh-East Asia in the country involved in the solicitation of funds, coordination, and planning of terrorist activities.
The couple were confirmed to have connection with Daulah Islamiyah bomb expert and sub-leader Mundi Sawadjaan alias Abu Marwan, one of the key planners of the twin bombing attack of Jolo Cathedral by an Indonesian couple-turned suicide bombers on January 27, 2019 and the suicide bombing attack at an AFP detachment in Indanan, Sulu on June 28, 2019.
Sawari is also connected with the Daesh-East Asia operating in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Middle East like Nor Aiza Sahiron and other wives of convicted and detained Abu Sayyaf Group members in the country.
The PNP-IG said that Sawari received money remittance from Indonesian Daesh member and FTF facilitator Muhammad Alif Bin Suhari a.k.a Yoga Fibrianto of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah East Kalimantan Cell who was arrested on May 26, 2019 in Sabah.
Receipts of a TML-Malaysia money transfer from a certain Azuray Bin Jariza to Sawari and Almaida Salvin, wife of an arrested ASG member, was recovered from Suhari’s possession during arrest.
A large sum of money intended for the Daesh-East Asia operations in the Philippines was supposed to be transferred from Indonesia to the country through Sawari before Suhari’s arrest, officials added.
Sawari and Salvin also assisted Suhari in facilitating the entry into the Philippines of Indonesian couple Rullie Rian Zeke alias Abu Ibrahim Al-Indonisi and Ulfah Andayani Saleh who were responsible for the suicide bombing of the Jolo Cathedral in January 2019.
Sawari was monitored to have remitted money via Palawan Express to a certain Junjun Casampol who is known supporter of Daulah Islamiyah and facilitator of foreign terrorist fighter from Zamboanga to Sulu.
Officials said the presence of members of Daulah Islamiyah Khatiba Sulu under Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan in Parañaque City has something to do with the coordination and planning of terrorist activities of the group.
There was also information that they are engaged in firearms trafficking.
The police operation was a result of an intelligence packet provided by the PNP-IG to the NCRPO headed by Major Gen. Debold M. Sinas last June 9 following a seven-month intelligence buildup.