AN intelligence-driven operation in Zamboanga City on Tuesday afternoon led to the capture of an elusive Abu Sayyaf bandit wanted for a series of kidnapping-for-ransom incidents in Zamboanga City peninsula, Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group director, Brigadier General Jonnel C. Estomo said yesterday.
In a report to PNP chief, General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan, Estomo identified the arrested suspect as Anerson Tungayao, a known member of the extremist group who worked as a construction worker in Zamboanga City after becoming the target of a massive police manhunt in Zamboanga del Norte.
Estomo said members of the AKG Mindanao Field Unit headed by Lieutenant Colonel Clarence Gomeyac went to the shorelines of Bgy. Arena Blanco in Zamboanga City late afternoon Wednesday to monitor the presence of heavily-armed men led by one Injam Yadah said to be out to kidnap a target in the area.
Joined by officers from the Police Regional Office 9 under Brig. Gen. Jesus D. Cambay Jr., the Military Intelligence Unit 9 and the Regional Maritime Unit 9, the AKG operatives were scouring the area at 5:30 p.m. when they spotted two men, one of them armed with an M-16 automatic rifle.
Estomo said that when accosted, the man who was later identified as Tungayao , a resident of Bgy. Tapanayan in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte failed to present any gun registration papers prompting officers to arrest him.
His companion identified as Yadah, a known Abu Sayyaf sub-leader based in Sulu managed to escape arrest and is still being hunted as of press time.
Estomo said the suspects were wanted for their involvement in several kidnapping-for-ransom cases in Zamboanga peninsula, the most recent of which was the kidnapping of one Rex Triplitt in Bgy. Tapansyan in Sirawai municipality last September 30.
The PNP-AKG director said the victim who was released unharmed identified Tungayao and Yadah as among his abductors. The victim reportedly paid an unspecified amount of ransom for his freedom
“We are still tracking down the other members of the group who are involved in kidnapping-for-ransom, gun-for-hire and robbery-extortion activities in Mindanao,” said Estomo.
The captured suspect is now undergoing interrogation at the AKG-MFU headquarters. Estomo said he will be facing kidnapping-for-ransom and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition charges under Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013.
With Zaida Delos Reyes