Thursday Jun, 04 2020 03:21:29 PM

SK fishermen armed with "holen guns" mistaken as ISIS

Local News • 17:00 PM Tue Nov 5, 2019
Mayor Shammem Mastura (center) of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao presides over the town peace and order council where sightings of alleged ISIS were tackled. (FC)

SULTAN KUDARAT, Maguindanao  – There was not truth to reports that IS linked gunmen were sighted in town, security and local officials today said.

Speaking during the Sultan Kudarat Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC) meeting presided by its chair Mayor Shameem Mastura, Police Major Julhamin Asdani said the reported presence of ISIS in Barangay Dalumangcob, Sultan Kudarat was a mere “tsismis” (rumor) and that this “tsismis” was spread through the social media.

Asdani said after a series of validations and verification, residents of Barangay Dalumangcob came out, including those fishermen mistaken as ISIS armed have come forward to clear the issue.

A fisherman who asked he remained unidentified said he and his companions were walking home on Wednesday night last week from fishing in the marshland and Rio Grande de Mindanao.

“Maybe they have mistakenly us as ISIS because we brought ‘holen gun’ used in hunting birds,” he said in vernacular.  A “holen gun” is home-made pistol or rifle with “holen” (marble).

A woman who also asked she is not named said she saw what appeared to be gunmen walking near her home under cover of darkness.

“When I texted my sister, she was alarmed and through the ISIS gunmen are attacking MILF communities like in other parts of Maguindanao,” she said.

Should there be any gunmen roaming around Sultan Kudarat villages, the LGU officials should know, Mayor Mastura said.

“We are much aware of any movement of those who came in and out of our communities, we will be the first line of defense,” he said. “If they’ll try to invade our territories, our grass root officials will drive them away.”

Mastura has urged his constituents to shun away ISIS ideology and report any activities related to violent extremism to authorities.

Army and Philippine Marine officials said they have not validated and confirmed the report.

Mastura also said that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which has all over influence and has the main camp in Sultan Kudarat town, Camp Darapanan will not allow ISIS groups establish influence in Sultan Kudarat.

Top Front Commander Gordon Sayfullah who attended the MPOC meeting, stress that ISIS and violent extremism will not prosper under the Bangsamoro government.

“They better rethink,” Sayfullah said of the rebel group.

On Sunday night, Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi issued a statement through her social media account alerting Cotabatenios about the alleged sightings of ISIS moving to Cotabato City from Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

She vowed to fight them with the full force of security sectors and asked the help of the residents to be vigilant or report any information about their presence.

As police were placed on heightened alert, two armed were arrested by Cotabato City police on Monday in Bagsakan area, Jose Lim Street.

They were identified as Ebrahim Guialon and Giahud Mama who were both armed with cal. 45 pistol and 9mm pistol.

Major Glenn Mar Avisa, chief of Police Station 1, said civilians alerted the police about the presence of suspicious men in the area.

“We acted immediately and we found out they were armed,” Avisa said, adding that what made them suspicious was that one of them was wearing a face mask but a pistol was bulging in his waist.

Police later found that Guialon and Mama belonged to MILF’s 105th base command based on the IDs taken from them. (FC)

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