ABU SAYYAF ‘BANDIT’ KILLED IN TAWI-TAWI SHOOTOUT
Policemen inspect the remains of Shaifful Julaili, an alleged Abu Sayyaf bandit, who was killed in a shootout with authorities on Tuesday in Barangay Lapid-Lapid, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi. (Photo courtesy of Naval Forces Western Mindanao Public Information Office)
ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Government forces killed an Abu Sayyaf "bandit" allegedly involved in transborder kidnapping during a shootout in the province of Tawi-Tawi, a top military official said Thursday.
Rear Admiral Rene Medina, Naval Forces Western Mindanao (Navforwem) commander, said Abu Sayyaf member Shaifful Julaili was killed at a checkpoint manned by police and military personnel in Barangay Lapid-Lapid, Bongao town Tuesday.
Medina said Julaili opened fire at government forces in an apparent attempt to flee, prompting the troops to return fire that fatally hit the suspect.
“This checkpoint operation by the government, through Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi and PNP (Philippine National Police), is primarily conducted to preempt the spillover of terror activities from the province of Sulu to Tawi-Tawi,” he said.
“Checkpoints serve as one of the proactive measures of the government to thwart the plans of the Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf bandits in utilizing the province (Tawi-Tawi) as their safe haven and platform in the conduct of high-profile kidnappings,” the Navy official said.
“This also serves as a warning to other terrorist group members that Tawi-Tawi is not, and will never be a safe place for them to conduct their illegal activities,” he added.
Medina said Julaili was involved in abductions in Sulu, particularly at the sea border of Tawi-Tawi and Sabah.