TWO most wanted criminals were killed in separate gunbattles with agents of the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group in Mindanao on Monday and last Saturday, PNP-AKG director, Brigadier General Jonnel C. Estomo announced yesterday.
In a report to PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas, the official identified the suspect slain in a firefight in Sitio Kodiak, Barangay Ani-e in Claviera, Misamis Oriental as Arnel Saguilong, a man wanted for rape and said to be a hard-core member of the New People’s Army who later joined a kidnapping-for-ransom gang operating in the province.
Estomo said that members of the AKG Mindanao Field Unit headed by Colonel Clarence Gomeyac, with the assistance of the PNP Special Action Force, the PNP Intelligence Group and the local police tried to arrest the suspect on the strength of a warrant for rape issued by Judge Wilfredo Yacapin of the Medina, Misamis Oriental Regional Trial Court Branch 26 last October 16.
However, the suspect who was armed with a caliber .357 revolver resisted arrest and fired shots at the officers hitting Senior Master Sergeant Rodel Hupa in the chest prompting the other lawmen to retaliate killing the latter on the spot. Hupa was saved by the bullet-proof vest he was wearing.
Estomo said that the suspect was charged for repeatedly raping his stepdaughter inside their residence everytime he was drunk in 2015. When a criminal case was filed against him, the suspect went into hiding in Lanao del Sur for six year where he reportedly joined a kidnapping-for-ransom gang operating in the province.
The PNP-AKG director said that they monitored the involvement of the suspect and his cohorts in the kidnapping of one Thelma Lalisan and Alex Bagnol inside the Marawi State University compound on January 25, 2017.
The kidnappers demanded a P2 million ransom for the safe release of their two captives but later reduced their demand to P500,000. The victims were freed after the ransom demand was reportedly paid by their releatives on February 10, 2017 in Tamparan, Lanao del Sur.
Last Saturday, Estomo said that one of the country’ most wanted KFR suspects was killed in a gunbattle with his men in Tungawan, Zamboanga.
Suspect Salip Adzhar Alidjam alias ‘Aya,’ a known member of the ISIS-inspired Abu Sayyaf Group died following a clash with officers who raided his hideout in Barangay Musso in Tungawan municipality 5:45 a.m. Saturday.
According to Estomo, officers from the AKG Mindanao Field Unit conducted the operation with the help of members of the Regional Intelligence Unit 9, the PNP Special Action Force, the Police Regional Office 9, PNP Maritime Group and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.
Armed with two search warrants for illegal possession of firearms and explosives issued by Judge Vicente dela Plaza of the Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay Regional Trial Court Branch 36, the lawmen stormed the suspect’s place, he said.
Estomo said that the suspect however refused to peacefully surrender and hid in his room where he armed himself with a pistol and fired shots at officers triggering the shootout.
The PNP-AKG director described the slain suspect as a member of an ASG faction headed by the late Alhabsi Misaya. The suspects gained notoriety for their involvement in a series of kidnapping-for-ransom incidents in Mindanao including the kidnapping of six Indonesian fishermen in The waters of Sabah, Malaysia on August 3, 2016.
PRO9 director, Brig. Gen. Jesus D. Cambay Jr. said that the suspect who also used the alias ‘Alip Adjal’ was identified by one of the Indonesian kidnapping victims-Herman Bin Manggak’as one of their kidnappers following coordination made by investigators with Indonesian embassy officials.
The Indonesian was reportedly released after paying a P4 million ransom to the gunmen, said Estomo.
Recovered at the scene of the gunbattle were one hand grenade, one caliber .45 pistol with a magazine containing five live ammunition and one Garand rifle with two clips containing 16 bullets.
The body of the slain suspect was immediately turned over to his family for burial in accordance with Muslim rites, said Estomo.