by Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House leadership has been urged to look into the National Police Commission’s (Napolcom’s) decision to revoke the deputation of the provincial governor and 13 mayors of Sulu as Napolcom’s representatives and determine whether or not these officials indeed worked in collusion with illegal drug syndicates, the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), the Maute terrorist group and other criminal elements.
Sulu Rep. Munir Arbison branded as “highly serious” and “equally disturbing” the Napolcom’s suspension and withdrawal of deputation of Gov. Abdusakur Tan II, along with 13 Sulu mayors.
“Why the Abu Sayyaf Group remains intact and has even managed to expand to Marawi City by joining forces with the Maute Terrorist Group must be thoroughly reexamined and evaluated in the light of the Napolcom resolution,” he said in filing House Resolution 1137.
Arbison cited that “some courageous and well-meaning” Sulu residents have boldy exposed that some local officials served as protectors of ASG as they facilitated the supply of firearms and ammunitions, provided access to legal services of lawyers, helped the release of ASG inmates from jail and provided them with refuge in their own areas of control.
Arbison disclosed that he recently obtained a copy of an affidavit dated April 12, 2017 and executed by former foreign editor of Der Spiegel, Olaf Ihlau who revealed that he personally brought the ransom money allegedly to the residence of former Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan in exchange for the release of Andreas Lorenz in July 2000.
“Reports from kidnapped victims in Malaysia also revealed that they paid the ransom money through a powerful local politician in Sulu,” he said.
He said there is no way for President Duterte to succeed in his war against illegal drugs and terrorists if local chief executives are playing footsy with drug lords and kidnap for ransom groups like ASG.
“We need to get down to the bottom of this issue, otherwise, the sacrifices of our young and gallant soldiers will just be in vain. Again, the Napolcom resolution already points us to the truth which we must all seek out, if we are to fully liberate Sulu and Mindanao from quagmire of extremism and senseless war,” Arbison said.
He said his proposed House investigation could result to possible review or amendments of the following laws: Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention of the Revised Penal Code, Republic Act (RA) 9372 or the
Human Security Act of 2007, RA 6975 or the Philippine National Police (PNP) Law, and the newly approved RA 10927 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
“The House of Representatives has the paramount duty to contribute immensely to the collective national effort to annihilate the menace of drugs and to win the war against extremism as these continue to hound the nation, destroy the edifice of our democratic way of life, and warp the efficacy of our nationhood, “ the Mindanoaon lawmaker said.