By Francis Wakefield
Joint military and police units neutralized an Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) member during the conduct of checkpoint operations at Brgy Lapid-Lapid, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.
Troops composed by elements of the 29th Marine Company of Marine Battalion Landing Team-9 with the 51st Special Action Company, SAF; Bongao Municipal Police Station; Maritime Police Station, Tawi-Tawi and orchestration of Joint Intelligence Task Units that conducted Support to Law Enforcement Operation.
The said Abu Sayyaf, identified as Shaifful Julaili, escaped the checkpoint and fired at government troops manning the checkpoint which prompted the government troops to retaliate and fatally wounding the suspect.
This ASG member is said to be involved in the series of kidnapping activities in Sulu particularly in the seawater boundaries of Tawi-Tawi and Sabah.
The suspect is also said to be involved in the recent planned kidnapping in Sabah with other Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf Group.
JTF Sulu said the intensified checkpoint operations by the government through Joint Task Force (JTF) Tawi-tawi and PNP is primarily conducted to preempt the spill over of terror activities from the province of Sulu to Tawi-Tawi.
“These checkpoints serve as one of the proactive measures of the government to thwart plans of this Sulu based ASG/KFRG members in utilizing the province as their safe havens and platform in the conduct of their high profile kidnappings,” the military said.
“It is assured that the AFP and the PNP will not stop in performing its duty of protecting the people and the Western Mindanao region against these terrorist groups. This also serve as a warning to other terrorist group members that Tawi-Tawi is not, and will never be a safe place for them to conduct their illegal activities,” it added.