In a series of operations conducted on July 17, 20, and 21, 2020, three (3) Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members were arrested by the NBI Counter-Terrorism Division (NBI-CTD) in coordination with the Special Action Force-Rapid Deployment Battalion of the Philippine National Police and counterparts from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

NBI Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Eric B. Distor said that the successful operations were based on the intelligence reports from the NBI-CTD in connection with sightings of alleged ASG members in Metro Manila who were involved in the kidnapping of 6 members of a Christian religious sect in Patikul, Sulu on August 20, 2002.

OIC Distor added that all three (3) subjects are included in the Order of Arrest docketed under Criminal Case No. 128923-H A to E for 6 counts of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention with Ransom currently pending before the Regional Trial Court Branch 271, Taguig City. These positice developments are results of relentless efforts of NBI Intelligence operatives as far as tailing subjects from Jolo and identifying the subjects, their residences in Metro Manila and monitoring their activities that led to their arrest. Given the authority to investigate by OIC Distor, operatives from NBI-CTD and AFP Counterparts initiated the case build-up and conducted series of surveillance operations to identify the subjects, their residences, workplaces and other relevant information. On 13 July 2020, a witness under the DOJ-Witness Protection Program was able to identify one photo from a CTD photo line-up as ERIE.

Subject ERIE, who was initially identified as Ben Saudi was likewise identified to have used the alias ERIE (It is common for ASG members to use several aliases or “kunya”). The witness in the abovementioned case executed the corresponding Sworn Statement identifying ERIE as one of the ASG members who held the victims in captivity. At around 2:00 PM, of 17 July 2020, subject ERIE was arrested by the group composed of NBI-CTD, PNP SAF-Rapid Deployment Battalion and AFP Counterparts at Sultan Kudarat Street, Maharlika, Taguig City.

He was then informed of his rights and was processed for booking as per standard procedure and is now in the NBI Detention Facility. The same witness also identified during the photo line-up the subject known as JABER and thereafter executed a Sworn Statement identifying JABER as one of the ASG’s perimeter guard at the time they were held captive. In the afternoon of 20 July 2020, JABER was arrested by a team comprised of NBI-CTD, PNP SAF-RD and AFP Counterparts at Craig St., Sampaloc Manila. Subject JABER was informed of all his rights and was processed for booking as per standard procedure and is now in the NBI Detention Facility.

JABER gave his official name as AJVIER KUHUTAN y SABTULA. Another individual also identified by the same witness in the photo line-up is subject OSEIN or ABDURAYA. A Sworn Statement was executed on 13 July 2020 by the same witness identifying the subject as an ASG member who guarded the kidnap victims. On 21 July 2020, the following day after the arrest of subject JABER, his relatives arrived at the NBI-CTD office to verify the nature/cause of his arrest and claim his personal belongings.

One of the relatives is ADZMI KUHUTAN y SABTULA, who claimed to be AJVIER’s older brother. According to the intelligence report received earlier, it was revealed that one OSEIN/ABDURAYA who was also involved in the said kidnapping case and is listed in the Order of Arrest thereof is the brother of JABER. ADMZI was then requested to present identification (Barangay ID) and was asked to temporarily remove his face mask to verify if he is the same person in the ID he presented. Upon removing his mask, the Agents of the CTD recognized him as the same person identified by the witness on 13 July 2020 as OSEIN/ABDURAYA. ADZMI was shown a copy of the witness/complainant’s Sinumpaang Salaysay and did not deny that the photograph of the person identified as OSEIN/ABDURAYA therein is him.

The CTD, as augmented by operatives from NBI TFAID, TID and CRID agents arrested ADZMI also known as OSEIN/ABDURAYA. He was informed of his rights, processed for booking and is currently detained in the NBI Detention Facility. OIC Distor stressed that the arrested ASG members who are now under the custody of the NBI are awaiting transfer to the Special Intensive Care Area (SICA), BJMP in Taguig City. Distor likewise emphasized that the NBI thru its Counter-Terrorism Division headed by HA Raoul Manguerra, in full coordination with the PNP and counterparts from the AFP, will continue in its relentless efforts against terrorists and other lawless elements. With R.A. 11479 or the Anti-Terrorism ﹰAct of 2020, the fight against terrorism has given the government a stronger law as basis in running against terrorists, Distor added.

Source: NBI PIO

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