A Philippine National Police Intelligence Group (PNP-IG)-led manhunt operation in Zamboanga City on Wednesday morning led in the capture of two most wanted Abu Sayyaf bandits found hiding in the city, PNP-IG director, Brigadier General Edgar S. Monsalve announced yesterday.
In a report to PNP Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the official identified the arrested suspect as Mergan Esteban Cabil alias ‘Tadz’ and Basir Tilani Tuwa.
Monsalve said that the two are known members of an Abu Sayyaf faction headed by the late ASG sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya, one of the most notorious Abu Sayyaf leaders who was killed in a gunbattle with Marine troopers in Indanan, Sulu on April 29, 2017.
“We have information that the two and their other colleagues pledged allegiance to the ISIS-inspired Dawlah Islamiya,” Monsalve said.
Dawlah Islamiyah is said to have been founded by Omar Maute, the man behind the infamous Maute Group also known as the Islamic State of Lanao, a radical Islamic group composed of former Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels and foreign fighters who were involved in the bloody Marawi City siege in May 2017.
Monsalve said that recovered from the suspects’ possession were one fragmentation grenade, one caliber .45 Colt semi-automatic pistol with serial no. 271852, another Colt Mark IV cal. .45 pistol with serial no. 56677 and 14 live .45 ammunition.
The official said that the two were arrested inside Lot 70, Block 8 in Vale Vista, Phase 3, Barangay Kasanyangan, Zamboanga City during a 2:15 a.m. Wednesday raid.