PNP seeks AFP help in probing 2 arrested ‘terror suspects’ in Manila

Published January 12, 2019, 5:25 PM

by Dhel Nazario, Jeffrey G. Damicog, and Rey G. Panaligan

By Aaron Recuenco

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) will be seeking assistance from the military to conduct its own background check and investigation on two suspected sympathizers of a notorious terror group who were collared days before the Black Nazarene procession in Manila.

This, as police investigation, disclosed that there is no direct connection between the presence of the two arrested suspects and the Traslacion where more than two million devotees flocked to Manila for the procession and other related activities.

NCRPO chief Director Guillermo Eleazar said the military may have additional information with regard to alias Abu Nas and Jeran Aba alias Abu Sinan.

Abu Nas, who was arrested in Binondo on December 20, is a wanted Abu Sayyaf member who was accused of kidnapping of 15 employees of Golden Harvest Plantation in 2011; while Aba, who was collared on December 25 in Quiapo, is a member Dawlah Islamiyah.

“We are seeking assistance from our counterparts in the Armed Forces of the Philippines to conduct their own investigation,” said Eleazar.

He explained that they could not just assume that their presence in Manila days before the Black Nazarene procession as mere coincidence.

But Eleazar said that if indeed the two were planning to conduct bombings in Metro Manila, especially during the Traslacion, then their plan was foiled because of their arrest.

“This is proof that we are really serious in making Metro Manila, and even other parts of the country, safe. Our coordination with the military is great and fruitful and this will be a continuous one,” said Eleazar.

Security officials have been saying that there were no serious threats on the Black Nazarene procession.

But to ensure the safety of millions of devotees, thousands of policemen and soldiers were deployed in Manila, and other security protocols were put in operation to include jamming communication signals and declaring Manila as no fly and no sail zone during the procession.