3 ‘KIDNAPPERS’ NABBED, P10.2-M SHABU SEIZED IN ZAMBO RAID
Soldiers and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency operatives conduct inventory on the illegal drugs they seized in a raid Wednesday in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. (Photo courtesy of Army's 44th Infantry Battalion)
ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Lawmen have arrested three alleged members of a kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) group and seized some PHP10.2 million worth of illegal drugs in a law enforcement operation in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay, officials said Thursday.
Lt. Col. Don Templonuevo, Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion commander, said the raiding team also seized weapons, explosives and ammunition aside from illegal drugs.
Templonuevo identified the suspects after serving the search warrant around 1 p.m. Wednesday in Barangay Tenan, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, as Nicanel Maningo, Benhazer Anduhol, and Solaiman Calon.
Templonuevo added that the arrested suspects are all members of the Barahama Alih Group, which is a notorious in kidnap-for-ransom gang and also engaged in illegal drug trade activities in Zamboanga Sibugay.
He said seized from the suspects were some PHP1.5 kilograms of suspected shabu packed in different sizes of plastic sachets with an estimated PHP10.2 million market value, one M-16 Armalite rifle, two handguns, explosives, ammunition, and illegal drug paraphernalia.
Col. Bagnus Gaerlan, Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade commander, said the arrest of the three will significantly reduce the capability of the Barahama Alih group in conducting kidnapping and other illegal activities.
“We will continue to go after them in order to ensure the safety and security of the people of Zamboanga Sibugay,” Gaerlan said, whose brigade has operational jurisdiction over the province of Zamboanga Sibugay.
Brig. Gen. Roberto Ancan, Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, lauded the efforts of 102nd Brigade, 44th Infantry Battalion and participating government forces for the successful arrest of the KFR group members and the confiscation of firearms, ammunitions, explosives, illegal drugs and paraphernalia.
“Our joint law enforcement operation with other agencies is relentless in defeating the lawless armed groups in order to protect our people,” Ancan said.
“We also urge the other stakeholders especially the local populace to be more vigilant and continue to report to the government forces any suspicious group or individuals in order to end this menace of society and sustain the peace and development efforts of the government,” Ancan added.
The raid was jointly carried out by soldiers, policemen, Philippine Coast Guard personnel, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency operatives, and National Bureau of Investigation agents.