PNP: Ex-Sulu town vice mayor in deadly firefight recruiting more men
MANILA, Philippines — At large former Maimbung, Sulu vice mayor Pando Mudjasan, whose group figured in a deadly firefight with government troops is recruiting more men in their armed group, Philippine National Police spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said on Tuesday.
Fajardo added that Mudjasan’s group is now being considered as a potential private armed group that could be used to sow fear during the upcoming Barangay and Sangunniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE).
“Kasama po yun sa information po na nareceive po natin doon na sinasabi nga po na nag-re recruit po ito ng mga armed civilians na pupwede pong maisama sa grupo nga po nila dahil nga they are now being considered as potential [private] armed group nga po na maaaring magamit nga po para dito nga po sa palapit na BSKE,” Fajardo said in a chance interview.
(That is included in the information we received, stating that they are recruiting armed civilians who can join their group because they are now being considered as potential private armed groups that could be used for the upcoming BSKE.)
So far, Fajardo said Mudjasan’s group consists of more or less 50 men.
Fajardo said that Mudjasan’s group is allegedly coddling Abu Sayyaf Group supporters, some of whom could take part in the incident.
“Vinavalidate po natin na ngayon yung information na during the incident po ay may mga kasama pong siyang mga miyembro ng Abu Sayyaf,” Fajardo said.
(We are validating the information that, during the incident, some of the fighting men are members of Abu Sayyaf.)
Mudjasan’s men and government troops figured in a deadly gunfight last June 24 which foiled his arrest for several counts of murder and illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
Six were killed in the incident, including a policeman and five of Mudjasan’s men.