A MEMBER of the ISIS-inspired Abu Sayyaf Group wanted for his involvement in the infamous 2001 Golden Harvest Plantation kidnappings was captured by combined agents of the National Capital Region and the Philippine National Police Intelligence Group during an operation in Tondo, Manila last Thursday, NCRPO chief Director Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar announced yesterday.
The suspect, identified as Sen Asmad alias ‘Abu Nas/Suhud/Jul/Sudais Sali Asmad, was found to be working as a delivery boy in Manila’s Chinatown District and was arrested on Elcano Street in Barangay 271 in Binondo past 10 p.m. Thursday on the strength of a warrant of arrest for kidnapping and serious illegal detention issued by Judge Leo Jay Principe of the Isabela City Regional Trial Court Branch 1 in Basilan, said the NCPRO chief.
Seized from the suspect’s possession was a chamber-loaded caliber .45 Remington Rand INC semi-automatic pistol with a magazine containing four live ammunition.
Eleazar said combined operatives of the NCRPO Regional Special Operations Unit headed by Superintendent Rogarth Campo, the NCRPO Regional Intelligence Division under Senior Supt. Glicerio Cansilao and the PNP-IG headed by Chief Supt. Edmund Gonzales arrested the suspect following weeks of surveillance triggered by a tip from an informant.
He added that the suspect fled Basilan and sought refuge in Baseco Compound in Tondo after becoming a wanted person.
Eleazar said the suspect is one of the accused in the June 11, 2001 kidnapping of 15 employees of the Golden Harvest Plantation in Bgy. Tairan in Lantawan, Basilan. The victims were held captive for nearly five months. After being released, one of the hostages positively identified Asmad as among their abductors.
Eleazar described Asmad as a member of an Abu Sayyaf faction under Furuji Indama’s umbrella Dawlah Islamiyah group.
“He is also part of the group from Basilan province which was supposed to augment the group of the local terrorist group under Isnilon Hapilon during the Marawi Siege. He is in Manila purportedly to receive financial support from sympathizers of the Dawlah Islamiya and unknown missions,” the NCRPO chief said.
The suspect is now being held at the NCRPO-RSOU headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City.