Government troops rescued an Indonesian teenager in an operation against alleged leaders of Daulah Islamiyah-Abu Sayyaf Group (DI-ASG) in Sumisip, Basilan on Saturday.
According to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) the targets of the operation were DI-ASG subleader Mudzrimar Sawadjaan or Mundi and Abu Sayyaf subleader Pasil Bayali or Kera.
“Troops of the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion were able to seize the harboring position of the target at Sitio Lobloban, Barangay Guiong, Sumisip, Basilan and rescued an Indonesian national,” Westmincom said in a statement.
The military said Mundi brought the minor with him when he fled from Sulu to evade the combat operation of the 1103rd Infantry Brigade.
Joint Task Force Basilan Acting Commander Colonel Frederick Sales said the rescued person was the 15-year-old son of the alleged suicide bomber in Jolo Cathedral in 2019.
According to the military, Mundi abandoned the teenager during his escape from the area during Saturday’s operation.
The AFP meanwhile vowed to bring to justice New People’s Army (NPA) rebels responsible for the anti-personnel mine (APM) attack that killed two persons in Northern Samar last June 3.
“We will lend our hands for the apprehension of those responsible, and in the filing of appropriate cases against them until the people’s call for justice is fulfilled,” AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar said in a statement.
He also said the AFP condoles with the families of the victims. Killed in the NPA’s wanton use of banned APMs were Roel Lebico and Jerson Cabe. The attack took place at Barangay Magsaysay, Las Navas, Northern Samar. “While on their way home from a hard day’s work in the construction of a farm-to-market road, the communist terrorist group detonated an APM and fired their guns on them in another case of IHL (International Human Rights) violation by the CTG (communist terrorist group),” Aguilar added.
He also urged every peace-loving Filipino to call out and condemn the NPAs for their “terroristic act” against unarmed and innocent individuals.
“The CTG is in a desperate position following the huge losses they incurred in the Visayas region. To this, we have heightened our vigilance against similar attacks as we continue our pursuit (of) the remaining communist terrorists in the area,” Aguilar said.