PNP says nothing irregular in ‘uncoordinated’ raid in Basilan
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde denied on Tuesday that there was an irregularity in the supposedly uncoordinated raid in Basilan that led to the death of two Abu Sayyaf Group former members who turned military assets and a member of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
Albayalde said it was the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that requested assistance from the PNP-84th Seaborne Special Action Force (SAF) for a joint operation to raid the houses of Aljan Mande and two militias in Sitio Kasanyangan, Barangay Candiis, Hadji Muhammad Ajul town on Friday.
The raid led to the deaths of Aljan and his brother Jamsid, former ASG members, and Radjak Ammah, leader of the MNLF in the village.
“There is nothing irregular doon sa nangyari doon sa PNP. Bago ginawa ‘yun, the director of PNP-SAF, ini-specify niya ‘yung participation ng mga taong ito sa mga illegal activities and terror attacks. These are all suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group,” Albayalde said in a press conference.
(There is nothing irregular in what happened in the part of the PNP. Before the operation, the director of PNP-SAF specified the participation of these persons in illegal activities and terror attacks. These are all suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group.)
Albayalde said those killed in the operations had standing warrants of arrest and are involved in kidnapping activities and terror attacks in the previous years.
“The NBI approached the PNP for assistance dito (here). Hindi po ito basta kinuha lang ng PNP (The PNP did not just raid the house),” he said.
However, Aljan and Jamsid have already surrendered to the military and have become assets to be able to convince their comrades to lay down their arms.
Army Major Arvin John Encinas, Western Mindanao Command spokesperson, said the raid by the PNP and NBI was never coordinated with the military.
The fatalities also reportedly bore tell-tale signs of torture. /jpv
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