ARRESTED. The side view mug shot of suspect Tamano Ismail Sabpa for his alleged participation in the controversial 2015 Mamasapano encounter that resulted to the death of 44 members of the police’s Special Action Force, 17 Moro rebels and five civilians. (Photo courtesy of CIDG - BARMM)
COTABATO CITY -- Authorities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) lauded Monday the region’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) unit with the arrest of one of the suspects in the controversial Mamasapano encounter in 2015.
“I also would like to acknowledge the cooperation extended by other security units like the Army’s 6th Infantry Division and the Cotabato City police office for the fruitful mission,” Brig. Gen. Graciano Mijares, Police Regional Office-BARMM chief said in a statement.
Members of CIDG–BARMM, led by Maj. Esmael Madin, arrested Tamano Esmail Sabpa at the parking lot of Cotabato Regional and Medical Center in this city at about 2 p.m. Saturday while implementing “Oplan Pagtugis.”
Oplan Pagtugis is a police operational plan for capturing “national level” most wanted persons (MWP).
Sabpa, 40, was a national level MWP, a CIDG report said.
The CIDG-BARMM units were armed with a warrant for direct assault with murder issued by the Cotabato City Regional Trial Court Branch 15 for Sabpa’s alleged involvement in the January 25, 2015 encounter in Barangay Tukanalipao, Mamasapano, Maguindanao that killed 44 Special Action Force personnel, 17 Moro rebels and five civilians.
The SAF personnel were on their way out of Tukanalipao after successfully neutralizing Zulkifli Abdhir, a Malaysian terror bomb-maker, when met and engaged in a firefight by combined forces of then Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) militants, and its breakaway faction, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
Also, the particular incident almost led to the collapse of the government’s peace overture with the MILF in Mindanao.