Gun supplier to Abu Sayyaf, warlords lived near Crame
THE LEADER and members of a gunrunning gang arrested in San Juan City for allegedly supplying high-powered firearms to the Abu Sayyaf and Mindanao warlords deserve the death penalty, the country’s top cop said on Tuesday.
Found inside the house located at No. 8 Unit 4, 3rd West Crame St. in Barangay West Crame, San Juan City—just two blocks away from Camp Crame—were M203 grenade launchers, M14 and M16 rifles and thousands of ammunition.
“This is a serious offense, isn’t it? Giving firearms to the enemy. How I wish we could execute by firing squad those who are responsible for this,” Philippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald dela Rosa, told reporters at Camp Crame as he inspected the P6 million worth of firearms seized from the group.
Armed with a search warrant, PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Anti-Transnational Crimes Unit (ATCU) operatives raided on Saturday the house of Unding Kenneth Isa—the alleged gang leader—and his cohorts Risdimona Isa, Aljamer Akarab Mandih and Hurbin Alhisahibul.
Unding, according to the police, lost when he ran for Sulu vice governor in the last elections. He ran as an independent.
Dela Rosa said most of the ammunition confiscated from the suspects were taken from the government arsenal. “We suspect they really have a contact from the government arsenal because how did these bullets [end up in their possession] if they did not have a contact there?” he asked.
Dela Rosa said he believed that the weapons would be used in intensifying the Abu Sayaff’s kidnapping and terrorist activities as well as in strengthening the group’s defenses against government forces in Sulu and Basilan provinces.
He ordered CIDG director Chief Supt. Roel Obusan to complete the investigation of the suspects’ activities and “leave no stones unturned.”
Obusan and ATCU head Chief Insp. Roque Merdegia Jr. said the CIDG received information in July that Unding and a certain Wahid, both natives of Indanan, Sulu in Mindanao, were operating a gunrunning group supplying high-powered guns to Abu Sayaff and warlords in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The CIDG said the contraband were hidden in sport utility vehicles which were then transported on Ro-Ro ferries to their final destination in Mindanao.