Doubts have been raised on Tuesday on the Armed Forces’ claims that it has foiled a deliberate assault in Bohol and kidnapping of foreigners after it implicated the alleged lover of police colonel Maria Cristina Nobleza in a 17-year previous Sipadan hostage-taking incident the place Abu Sayyaf took 21 hostages from the dive resort island of Sipadan on April, 2000.

Questions cropped up on Tuesday after navy spokesman Gen. Restituto Padilla claimed that the navy has neutralised the elite group of the Abu Sayyaf throughout its operations in Bohol on the finish of the Holy Week. The elite group, the navy mentioned, was involved in long-distance kidnapping incidents together with the Sipadan hostage taking incident.

The AFP has claimed victory after Reener Lou Dongon, 25, was arrested in a follow-up operations, alongside along with his mom, and a 13-year previous nephew final weekend. Nobleza was arrested by lawmen together with the ASG member.

When informed that Dongon might simply be eight years previous on the time of the Sipadan incident, Padilla was fast to make clear that Dongon was part of the elite group believed to be neutralised by the authorities however not the Sipadan hostage-taking incident

” Iyong sa grupo po na napatay natin, iyong sa Bohol, iyon iyong pinag-uusapan. Iyong si Dongon hindi po associated dito. Ang relasyon po ni Dongon ay iyong pamilya po nila kasi, talagang immersed na sa grupo ng mga terorista, kasi iyong kaniyang mga kapatid na babae ay asawa ng mga kilala at tanyag na magazine terorista,” Padilla mentioned at a briefing in Malacanang.

The ASG bandits took 10 vacationers from Europe and the Middle East, and 11 Malaysian resort staff on April 23, 2000. The ASG have been then taken to the bottom in Jolo, Sulu.

Authorities are zeroing in on Dongon, a member the elite group led by one Abu Rami. Dongon’s siblings have been mentioned to be married to the late bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir, who was killed in the Mamasapano encounter just a few years in the past. The teenage boy arrested was additionally mentioned to be a son of one other militant Ahmed Santos.

Padilla expressed optimism that the Armed Forces have neutralised the ASG’s elite unit in Bohol, allaying fears of the general public concerning the peace and safety scenario in the province.

“Yes, we can say that even at the end of Holy Week because we will able to foil their plans and these plans are no joke. The group that we confronted that was led by this Abu Rami is an elite group of the ASG. This group has been the one behind the long distance abductions,” he mentioned.

“When I say long distance, they were part of those that may have hatched and been involved in the Sipadan case, in the Samal case, in the Dos Palmas case many years ago,” Padilla mentioned.

“So the Chief of Staff mentioned this already, General Año, when he said that this is an elite force that we have already given a death blow. So ito ay mga up and coming na very aggressive na miyembro ng ASG na nagsasagawa nitong mga long distance na activities na ito at iisa lang ang alam namin ito lang. So based on that, that’s why we safely bring the good news that we have addressed it adequately,” the AFP spokesman mentioned.

According to Padilla, the navy forces have discovered a lot from earlier ASG assaults which promped them to intensify additional intelligence and counter-intelligence operations in opposition to the fear group.

“What we can say is that we have learned so much from the previous incidents, like in Dos Palmas, in Samal, in Sipadan, etc,” he mentioned. “So the lesson learned from all these incidents has given way to the creation of adequate systems and organizations that would address any possible threat that may lead to the repeat of many of these incidents; and we don’t like that to happen that is why these protocols, these systems, these organization have been put in place,” Padilla mentioned.

Source: politics.com.ph