By Francis Wakefield
The Philippine National Police (PNP), in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Joint Task Force “ZamPeLan” (Zamboanga Peninsula, Lanao), apprehended a Daesh-inspired Maute Group sub-leader during an operation in Recto Avenue, Sta. Cruz, Manila, on Saturday.
The military identified the apprehended suspect as Abdul Nasser Lomondot, who was caught Saturday at about 5:10 p.m. Recovered in the possession of Lomondot were a calibre .45 pistol and a hand grenade.
Lomondot , a Maute Group sub-leader who took part in the Marawi rebellion, participated in the killing of innocent Christian civilians and committed violence against female and child hostages.
He was also one of the key planners in the attack in Marantao, Lanao del Sur ,during the Marawi rebellion. He took combat training in Butig, Lanao del Sur, along with other Daesh members.
Since the death last year of Isnilon Hapilon, the established Amir of Maute-Deash in Southeast Asia region, the remnants of the group were scattered into small units, hiding at selected areas of Lanao del Sur. They were also monitored recruiting and conducting trainings, particularly in the boundaries of Lanao and Maguindanao areas where they enjoy a certain level of civilian support.
Earlier this year, an encounter happened in Masiu, Lanao del Sur between the government troops and some elements of the Maute group. Their other members responsible in the killings of civilian vendors at Piagapo, Lanao del Sur, were also apprehended.
Army 1st Infantry Division commander Major General Roseller G. Murill said their recent successes and apprehensions have been yielding valuable information that allowed authorities to further hunt down the remnants of the group.
“More so, these successes clearly indicate their dwindling organizational leadership and capabilities,” Murillo said.
“The government forces will continue to intensify their internal security operations in Joint Task Force “ZAMPELAN’s” area of operations to neutralize the remnants of terrorist groups in Lanao del Sur,” he added.
Lomondot was brought to the Manila Police District (MPD) headquarters at UN Avenue, Manila, for processing and filing of appropriate charges.