A suspected Abu Sayyaf Group member and his cohort were killed in a police operation in Zamboanga Sibugay, the Philippine National Police-Special Action Force said on Sunday.
Based on a report submitted to PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas, acting SAF Director Brig. Gen. Bernabe Balba identified the fatalities as Jomar Aukasa and a certain Buchoy, whose true identity remains unknown.
The two died in an armed confrontation with police commandos from the 5th Special Action Battalion led by Maj. Rodel Silaran, backed by operatives from the Zamboanga Sibugay Police and Regional Mobile Force Battalion in Barangay Sisay, Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Balba said Aukasa turned violent as the arresting officers tried to serve the warrant of arrest which eventually resulted in an armed encounter.
Aukasa is the subject of four warrants of arrest for murder, and another arrest order for robbery, according to Balba.
Aukasa, Balba said, is also listed as the fifth most wanted person in the Zamboanga Peninsula region with links to the ASG as facilitator and financier of kidnap for ransom activities.
Balba said the neutralization of Aukasa emded eight months of extensive manhunt operation that began on March 17, 2020 under Case Operational Plan or COPLAN “Assassin.”
Police operatives seized a Belgian-made FN (Fabrique National) rifle, a Glock 17 pistol, and assorted ammunition.
Balba said the recovered Glock 17 pistol turned out to be a PNP property issued to PO1 Mohammad Nur Alamia of Tungawan Municipal Police Station that was grabbed by Aukasa when he escaped from police custody in 2018, and was the same gun used in shooting PO3 Rommel dela Cruz as the suspect fled. Dela Cruz survived the attack.
Tungawan Municipal Police Station is conducting further investigation into the incident.