By Martin Sadongdong
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)’s Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) clarified Saturday that it did not have a hand in a supposed “uncoordinated” raid, which led to the death of two former members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) turned military assets, and a member of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Basilan.
Major Arvin Encinas, WestMinCom spokesperson, said the Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) acted on their own when they raided the house of Aljan and Jamsid Mande, former ASG members, in Sitio Kasanyangan, Brgy. Candiis, Mohammad Ajul town around 3:30 a.m. Friday.
Aljan and Jamsid, who had surrendered to the military and allegedly became “assets,” were both killed in the operation.
The third fatality was Rajak Jama, a member of the MNLF.
The operating troops also arrested a militiaman, retired soldier, another MNLF member, and a local resident in the operation.
“Be [informed] that the AFP has no participation nor it is not a joint operation between military and PNP on the alleged law enforcement operation of team from the police’s Special Action Force and the NBI,” Encinas said.
According to a military source, the operation “has no coordination from the ground troops” that’s why it led to the death of two valued assets and an MNLF member.
Accordingly, the rebel-turned-assets were able to convince their Abu Sayyaf comrades to lay down their arms and surrender to the military.