Anti-kidnapping operatives of the Philippine National Police have arrested a suspected member of the Abu Sayyaf Group tagged in the abduction of an American-Filipino farmer last month.
Police Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, director of the PNP-AKG, said suspect Anerson Tungao was carrying an M16 rifle when his men, backed by soldiers, chanced upon him in a remote area in Zamboanga City Tuesday.
Another target of the operation, Injam Yadah, was able to escape. Yadah is reportedly a sub-leader of the Abu Sayyaf.
The two were tagged in the kidnapping of Rex Triplitt in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte last Sept. 16.
Joint police and military operatives rescued Triplitt in a daring operation last Sept. 30.
Estomo said the suspects are part of a small group who would kidnap in the Zamboanga area and bring the victim to either Basilan or Sulu.
During the operation, Estomo said the group of Yadah was set to jump off for another kidnapping.
“They would disguise themselves as construction workers whenever they would engage in kidnapping activities. They usually prey on local businessmen in Zamboanga Peninsula,” said Estomo.
The arrested suspect is now under the local police custody while manhunt is now being conducted against Yadah and other members of the group.