Wednesday Jul, 28 2021 08:12:57 AM

4 arrested in Maguindanao for keeping firearms in car 

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 20:00 PM Sat Jul 10, 2021
John M. Unson
A member of DAS MPS inspect passing vehicles along the national highway in Datu Abdullah Sangki, Maguindanao. (DAS-MPS)

MAGUINDANAO --- The police detained four suspected members of an Islamic State-inspired group for keeping assault rifles in their vehicle intercepted in Datu Abdullah Sangki town Friday.

Police Lt. Judith Ambong, chief of the Datu Abdullah municipal police, said Saturday Taib Guimbalangan 55, Mercipol Zainudin, 27, Ali Mohammad, 25 and the 20-year-old Farhan Saludin are now in their custody, to be prosecuted for illegal possession of firearms.

The four men were immediately arrested when policemen and members of the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion found two assault rifles and a grenade launcher inside their black Hyundai Accent car flagged down for inspection at Barangay Dimaampao, Datu Abdullah Sangki on Friday.

“We received prior tips from informants that a vehicle carrying four armed men was to pass by Barangay Dimaampao from Radja Buayan municipality which is also located in Maguindanao province. Lo and behold, they got intercepted promptly,” Ambong said.

Six others were arrested for carrying firearms and 6,000 rounds of ammunition for 5.56 caliber assault rifles in separate police-military operations early on in Maguindanao’s neighboring Shariff Saidona Mustapha and Mamasapano towns.

There is strong presence of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters in the adjoining Shariff Saidona Mustapha, Mamasapano and Radja Buayan towns, all in the second district of Maguindanao.

The group, operating in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is tagged in all deadly bombings in central Mindanao since 2014.  

Police Brig. Gen. Eden Ugale, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, said Saturday he has directed the Maguindanao provincial police to verify the seeming links of the four men arrested in Datu Abdullah Sangki with the BIFF.

Ugale said police intelligence agents will enlist the help of local leaders in validating the exact identities of the suspects.

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