Wednesday Mar, 22 2023 05:44:48 AM

Hunt for ambushers of Marines in Lanao Sur on

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 13:00 PM Mon Feb 6, 2023
John M. Unson
Members of Marogong municipal police station conduct checkpoint operations as part of the manhunt against gunmen who ambushed members of Philippine Marines over the weekend. (Photo from Marogong MPS)

COTABATO CITY - Maranao leaders have assured to help locate at least 27 gunmen who killed a member of the 2nd Marine Battalion and wounded three Marines in an ambush Saturday in Marogong, Lanao del Sur.

The slain Marine Sgt. John Milbert Pamaran and his companions, Cpl. Mark Anthony Bañares, Sgt. Jeram Aradji and Sgt. Joan Aniñon, were out for a community outreach activity when they were attacked by members of the Dawlah Islamiya, led by Faharudin Hadji Satar, in Barangay Cabasaran in Marogong.

Investigators in the Marogong Municipal Police Station and officials of the Lanao del Sur Provincial Police Office told reporters Monday witnesses have positively identified Satar and nine of his 27 followers who perpetrated the ambush that resulted in Pamaran’s death and left Bañares, Aradji and Aniñon badly wounded.

Brig. Gen. John Guyguyon, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, said Monday they are thankful to local executives and traditional Maranao leaders who have committed to flex their influence and connections to hasten the efforts of investigators and military intelligence in locating the culprits.

“Resolution of acts of terror are easier accomplished with the help of the local communities,” Guyguyon said.

Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, Jr., chairperson of the provincial peace and order council, has condemned Saturday’s atrocity that Satar and his men perpetrated.

Adiong urged constituent-leaders to help the police and military guard against attacks by local terrorist groups fashioned from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Sources in Lanao del Sur’s Islamic community had told reporters Satar was a henchman of the slain founders of the Maute terror group, the siblings Omarkayam and Abdullah Maute.

The duo instigated the May 23 to October 16, 2017 deadly siege of Marawi City, the capital of the province, that caused the death of more than a thousand people, among them soldiers and police personnel, and left historic, centuries-old Maranao dwelling sites in ruins.

“This Dawlah Islamiya leader named Faharudin Hadji Satar also has a group extorting money from people that they threaten to harm if extortion demands are ignored,”a 63-year-old Islamic preacher, who requested anonymity for security reasons, told reporters in Filipino, in heavy Maranao accent. 

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