Abu arsonist, 6 other terrorists fall

February 29, 2020

A SERIES of Philippine National Police Intelligence Group (PNP-IG)-led manhunt operations in the countryside this week resulted in the arrest of seven wanted persons including a former Abu Sayyaf bandit being hunted for his involvement in torching houses in two villages in Omar, Sulu in 2013, PNP-IG director, Brigadier General Edgar S. Monsalve said yesterday.

In a report to PNP chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the official identified one of the captured suspects as Mawan Ladjahali alias ‘Marwan,’ a former ASG member who shifted his allegiance to the Sulu-based Daulah Islamiyah terror group led by one Bunyamin Sawadjaan.

Monsalve said that Ladjahali was arrested along R.T. Lim Boulevard in Cawa-Cawa, Zamboanga City by members of the Regional Intelligence Unit 9 who were assisted by operatives from the Zamboanga City Police Office and the Sulu Provincial Police Office 3:20 p.m. Friday.

The suspect was arrested on the strength of a warrant of arrest for arson issued by Judge Betlee-Ian Barraquias of the Jolo, Sulu Regional Trial Court Branch 4 on January 19, 2017 with no bail recommended for his temporary liberty.

According to Monsalve, the suspect has been identified as one of the gunmen who attacked two villages in Omar, Sulu in 2013 where they torched a number of houses. The suspect is now under the custody of the RIU9,  the PNP-IG director said.

Monsalve said that three known New People’s Army rebels were also among those arrested by his men this week.

One of them identified as Cleofe Lagtapon was served a warrant of arrest for murder issued by Judge Jennifer Chavez-Marcos of the Carmen, Bohol RTC Branch 51 inside the Taguig City Jail Female Dormitory in Camp Bagong Diwa last Monday by RIU7 officers.

Lagtapon was identified as a former 1st deputy secretary and member of the Komiteng Rehiyon-Negros of the NPA. No bail was recommended for her temporary liberty.

A 2nd identified as Danilo Boquing alias ‘Dandi Boquing.Rannie/Gardo/Moi/Molen was also served a warrant for his arrest for rebellion at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology compound in Candon City in Ilocos Sur on Monday by members of the RIU1.

The warrant for the arrest of the suspect was issued by Judge Modesto Quismorio Jr. of the Tagudin, Ilocos Sur RTC Branch 25 with no bail recommended too.

A 3rd, Fermin Vertudazo alias ‘Ka Red’ was tracked down in his hiding place in Purok 3, Barangay Tayaba in Claver, Surigao del Norte during an RIU13-led operation last Tuesday.

Monsalve said that the suspect was arrested on the basis of a warrant for multiple attempted murder issued by Judge Cesar Bordalba of the Surigao City RTC Branch 30 with a P120,000 recommended bail.

The PNP-IG director described Vertudazo as a member of the NPA Northeast Mindanao Regional Committee operating in Surigao City and other parts of Surigao del Norte. The suspect is now being held at the Claver Municipal Police Station lock-up facility.

Monsalve said three other most wanted persons in the national level were arrested by PNP-IG agents this week. One of them identified as Niño Monroid, a wanted murder suspect was arrested in an RIU7-led manhunt operation in Bgy. Casili in Mandaue City in Cebu last Thursday.

The suspect is the subject of a warrant of arrest for murder issued by Judge Ulric Cañete of  the Mandaue City RTC Branch 55 with no bail recommended.

Monsalve said that the suspect is the subject of a P135,000 bounty offered by the Department of Interior and Local Government which has listed him as the 7th most wanted person in Central Visayas. The suspect is now under the custody of the RIU7.

The 2nd identified as Tedjay Galacatan alias ‘Michael Acaso,’ a man wanted for child sexual abuse and listed as among the most wanted men in Region 7 was tracked down in his hiding place in K-3rd Street in Kamuning, Quezon City during an RIU7-led operation last Monday.

The DILG has offered a P130,000 reward for the capture of the suspect.

The 3rd identified as Ritchie Ian Dequiña was arrested last Wednesday during an RIU12-led manhunt operation in Poblacion, Kabacan, North Cotabato.

Monsalve said that the suspect is the subject of a warrant of arrest for murder with no bail recommended by Judge Renato Fuentes of the Davao City RTC Branch 17 on November 7, 2007.

The DILG has offered a P70,000 reward for the arrest of the suspect, said the PNP-IG chief.