By Jeffrey Damicog
Two fugitive members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have been arrested in Metro Manila during separate operations conducted by government authorities led by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
NBI Director Dante Gierran identified the two arrested ASG men as Julmain and Anwar Sabarul Mohotoh, both of whom have been identified in their participation in the 2002 Jehova’s Witness kidnapping incident in Patikul, Sulu where six members of the sect were taken including two who got beheaded.
Gierran said joint government operatives led by the NBI’s Counter Terrorism Division (NBI-CTD) captured the two suspected ASG members pursuant to the arrest warrants issued by the Pasig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 266.
Both men are currently detained at the NBI’s Detention Facility while awaiting to be transferred to the Special Intensive Care Area (SICA) in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.
Julmain and Anwar are among a number of suspected ASG members facing charges of kidnapping and serious illegal detention with ransom before the RTC in connection with the 2002 Jehova’s Witness kidnapping incident.
NBI Assistant Director for Intelligence Eric Distor said the two were arrested based on information that they have been hiding in Manila.
Distor revealed, prior the arrests, surveillance operations were conducted against the suspects who were positively identified by their victims as among the persons who were involved in the kidnapping incident.
Anwar was the first to be arrested last July 12 in Quiapo, Manila where he is a pedicab driver, while, Julmain was nabbed on July 17 in Culiat, Quezon City where he operates a food stall.
Distor noted that Julmain had been under slain ASG leader Isnilon Hapilon but remains an active member of the group being a member of the ASG’s Urban Terrorist Group-Special Operations Group
Julmain, who also trained under ASG leader Khadafy Janjalani, had allegedly been actively recruiting members into the group.