Navy, police arrest kidnap gang members in Sibugay province

Published December 16, 2020, 11:33 AM

by Nonoy Lacson

ZAMBOANGA CITY — Police and military authorities arrested three members of the notorious  Balimbingan Group involved in kidnapping and illegal drug trade in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NavForWem) Commander Commodore Toribio D. Adaci Jr,  said on Wednesday the three were arrested at their temporary hideout in Barangay Tigabon, Malangas, Zamboanga Sibugay Province, around 5 a.m. on Tuesday,  by virtue of a warrant of arrest number IM-20-278.

Adaci identified  the arrested members of the group as Usman Ismael Balimbingan, Toto Lawadin Balimbingan, and Mujahid Sensi Balimbingan. 

He said the group was involved in piracy, extortion, gun running, kidnapping, and illegal drug trade in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

A navy patrol craft, a Navy SEAL team from the Naval Special Operations Command and naval intelligence agents worked with their counterparts in the police and other military units in the operation, Adaci said.

Recovered from the suspects were one  unit M16 rifle with a defaced serial number, four units of cal. 45 pistols, one unit KG9 submachine gun caliber 9mm luger, and assorted magazines, ammunition and paraphernalia.

The three gang members and their high-powered firearms  were  brought to the Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Police Office for documentation and appropriate disposition.

According to Adaci, the accomplishment was an offshoot of the continuing effort of the NavForWem to support  the Armed Force of the Philippines- Western Mindanao Command’s (AFP-WestMinCom) peace and security campaign.