Ranking ASG member nabbed in Zamboanga Sibugay
PAGADIAN CITY — Authorities arrested the third highest ranking member of the Abu Sayyaf kidnap-for-ransom Group in Zamboanga Sibugay Wednesday afternoon.
Lt. Col. Don Templonuevo, the 44th Infantry Battalion (IB) commander, said Nasirin Balajadji, who had been tagged for the 2012 kidnapping of Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani, among others, was arrested by the joint 44th IB and police operation in Barangay Canacan, Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Templonuevo said Balajadji was arrested based on a standing arrest warrant for kidnapping-for-ransom and would not be allowed to bail.
“Balajadji was involved in the kidnapping of Baker Atyani, a Jordanian journalist, in the year 2012,” he said.
The Jordanian journalist had escaped from his captors after being held prisoner by the group for a year and a half.
Police Col. Jerry Protacio, provincial director of the Zamboanga Sibugay police, said the suspect was also involved in the abduction of Roland Del Torchio, an Italian retired Catholic priest, and the kidnapping of Rexon Romoc, an eight-year old boy held captive by the group for seven months in 2016.
Templonuevo said the arrested kidnapper was now under police custody for proper disposition and the filling of cases./lzb
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