TWO suspected members of the Isis-inspired Daulah Islamiyah Philippines wanted for their involvement in the 2017 Marawi City siege were arrested on Saturday in Tandang Sora Avenue in Quezon City.
PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde identified the suspects as Arnel F. Cabintoy alias ‘Abu Musab’ and Feliciano Sulayao alias ‘Abu Muslim.’ The suspects joined the Abu Sayyaf-Daulah Islamiyah Philippines headed by Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan after the latter assumed leadership of the group following the death of elusive Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon at the height of the fighting in Marawi City.
Cabintoy yielded a hand grenade, one rifle grenade and a blasting cap while Sulayao was found in possession of a grenade.
Gen. Albayalde said the two are the subjects of an Order of Apprehension of Personalities Involved in the Rebellion in Mindanao issued by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana who was named by President Duterte as the administrator of the Martial Law in Mindanao. Martial Law will remain in effect until the end of 2019 as ratified by Congress.
The suspects were arrested by a composite team from the PNP Intelligence Group headed by Brigadier General Edgar S. Monsalve, the Quezon City Police District under Brig. Gen. Joselito T. Esquivel Jr. and the Regional Intelligence Group of the National Capital Region Police Office headed by Major Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar.
Gen. Albayalde said that although there is no direct evidence linking them to any terrorist activity in Metro Manila, all possible threats posed by the duo, including sabotaging next month’s State-of-the-Nation-Address by President Duterte are being investigated.
The two came to Manila only last week from Sulu and stayed at the Muslim Compound in Tandang Sora where their presence was monitored by intelligence agents with the help of concerned citizens.
Monsalve said the two were involved in the beheading of two Army soldiers who were killed during a clash with the Abu Sayyaf Group in Barangay Liyang in Patikul, Sulu on November 11, 2018, as well as a clash with soldiers in Bgy. Kabbon Takas in Patikul last February 2 which left two troopers dead.
He added that the suspects were also believed to be among the gunmen who engaged Army soldiers in a fierce gunbattle near a public elementary school in Bgy. Kan-Agi in Patikul last April 15 which left three troopers dead.
Monsalve added that Cabintoy was also identified as one of those involved in the January 27 bombing of the Mt. Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu, which killed 23 people and injured 102 others. Cabintoy was believed to have assisted one Abu Marwan in the preparation of the powerful IEDs used in the deadly cathedral bombing.