By Martin Sadongdong
A suspected member of the Mindanao-based terror group Abu Sayyaf (ASG) has been arrested by joint police forces in Binondo, Manila, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) revealed Saturday.
NCRPO Director Guillermo Eleazar identified the suspect as Sudais Asmad alias “Sen,” “Abu Nas,” “Suhud” and “Jul,” 25, an alleged member of ASG led by Furuji Indama under the umbrella group of the Dawlah Islamiyah.
A native of Landang, Zamboanga del Sur, Eleazar said Asmad works as a delivery boy and was temporarily residing at Baseco Compound, Block 9, Tondo, Manila.
Asmad was nabbed along Elcano Street, Brgy. 271, Binondo, Manila around 10:05 p.m. on Thursday by operatives of NCRPO’s Regional Special Operations Unit (RSOU) and Regional Intelligence Division (RID) in coordination with the Philippine National Police-Intelligence Group (PNP-IG).
According to Eleazar, Asmad was the subject of an arrest warrant dated Jan. 28, 2008 issued by presiding judge Leo Jay Principe of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 1, 9th Judicial Region in Isabela, Basilan for kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
Asmad was tagged in the kidnapping of 15 employees of Golden Harvest Plantation in Barangay Tairan, Lantawan, Basilan on June 11, 2001. Eleazar said one of the 15 kidnap victims positively identified and executed an affidavit detailing Asmad’s participation in the crime.
Eleazar said they received information that Asmad has been spotted in Manila so he immediately ordered the operatives to conduct a surveillance against him.
The operatives finally tracked Asmad after some time and they successfully served the warrant against him.
Police frisked Asmad and said they found in his possession a caliber .45 pistol loaded with four live ammunition and a chamber loaded with one bullet.
‘ASG in Manila’
Aside from his supposed ASG links, Eleazar said Asmad also serves as the liaison officer and escort/guide of “Balik-Islam” (Muslim reverts) from Luzon to Basilan.
“He is also part of the group from Basilan province [that] was supposed to augment the group of local terrorist group under Isnilon Hapilon during the ‘Marawi siege,'” Eleazar pointed out, referring to the attack perpetrated by local threat group Maute in the Islamic City of Marawi in May 2017.
According to Eleazar, Asmad is in Manila “purportedly to receive financial support from sympathizers of the Dawlah Islamiya and unknown missions.”
However, the NCRPO chief assured the public that there is nothing to worry about their safety as they have foiled a potential dangerous situation with the arrest of Asmad.
Eleazar reminded the commanders on the ground and their troops to maintain the tight security in Metro Manila in time for the Yuletide season.
The NCRPO is currently placed in full alert status, the highest level of readiness in police offices and units.
Asmad was brought to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City where a case for violation of Section 28, paragraph (a) (Unlawful acquisition or possession of small arm) under the Republic Act 10591 or Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act of 2013 was filed against him before the Office of the Prosecutor’s Office of Manila.