2 ‘Abu Sayyaf’ men arrested for role in 2001 Dos Palmas kidnapping
TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte, Philippines – Two suspected Abu Sayyaf members said to be among the gunmen who kidnapped at least 20 Filipino and American tourists from an island resort in Palawan 10 years ago were arrested in Mati City, Davao Oriental on Friday, police on Monday said.
Abdul Aziz Kunting alias Robert Tan and Akmed Kunting alias Jason Tan were apprehended during a joint police-Army operation in Matiao village past 2 p.m., Supt. Jose Carumba, the Southern Mindanao police regional spokesperson, said.
The arrests came after authorities received validated intelligence information on the presence of the suspects in the village, Carumba said. Carumba did not say how the suspects were related to each other.
“We are still monitoring if they have other companions. According to our investigation, the two have been in Mati for quite sometime already. They were moving around Region 11 (Southern Mindanao) apparently to elude arrest,” said Carumba.
The suspects allegedly took part in the Dos Palmas Resort kidnapping in Palawan on May 27, 2001, but “have gone inactive and laid low” after the mass abductions, Carumba said.
“The public has nothing to worry about,” the police official said, although he refused to provide details where the suspects were being held as he was not authorized to speak about it to the media.
Some 22 government troops and five hostages, including two American tourists were killed in the 12-month hunt against the kidnappers who had fled with their captives in Basilan after the abduction.
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