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Cops serve 3-year-old arrest warrant on MILF exec for SAF 44 killing

/ 07:39 PM February 27, 2020

COTABATO CITY—Police here on Wednesday (Feb. 26) arrested a ranking Moro rebel leader wanted for the killing of 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force (SAF) during an operation to capture international terrorist Marwan five years ago.

Capt. Rustom Pastolero, Cotabato City police station 2 chief, said Abuhalil Sabpa, alias Commander Abuhalil Dumamba Sabpa, was served an arrest warrant inside the Cotabato Regional and Medical Center where he was confined for an undisclosed illness.

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Sabpa is commander of a battalion under the 105th base command of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces, armed wing of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Pastolero said agents of the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, backed by local police and the Army’s Special Forces Battalion, served the warrant of arrest for direct assault with murder issued by Judge Alandrex Betoya of Regional Trail Court Branch 15 here.

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The arrest warrant was dated Jan. 25, 2017 yet.

Sabpa was tagged as one of the suspects in the Jan. 25, 2015 carnage at the village of Tukanalipao of Mamasapano town that left 44 SAF troopers, 15 MILF fighters and five civilians dead in a day-long battle that shocked the nation.

The 44 slain police officers were part of the elite team sent to capture or kill Malaysian jihadist Zulkfili bin Hir, alias Marwan. Marwan’s killing during the operation had been confirmed by DNA test results from the US government.

Edited by TSB
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TAGS: Maguindanao, Marwan, MILF, SAF 44, terrorist
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