17 Abu detainees transferred from Basilan to Taguig, Manila PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 March 2015 11:32

A total of 17 suspected Abu Sayyaf militants were transferred Friday from the Basilan provincial jail to a maximum police security detention facilities in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, Metro Manila.

Abdulhusin Atalad, Basilan provincial jail warden, said the transfer was in compliance with a Supreme Court order to detain them at Camp Bagong Diwa while their cases are being heard by the  courts in Manila.

Atalad said the transfer order was issued on September last year yet but “they were transferred only today due to non-availability of transportation.”

He said they were ferried early Friday by a boat of the Philippine Navy  from Basilan to Zamboanga City.

He said the Abu Sayyaf suspects captured on different dates on the strength of court warrants issued for criminal cases like kidnapping and murder boarded a C-130 “Hercules” aircraft around 9:30 a.m. at the Edwin Andrews Air Base in Zamboanga City and were flown to Villamor Air Base in Pasay City in Metro Manila.

Ensign Chester Ian Ramos, Task Force Zamboanga-Basilan-Sulu information officer, said they provided security in transporting the detainees from the Basilan provincial jail to this city.

In December 13, 2009,  31 prisoners, mostly Abu Sayyaf members, escaped after more than 100 gunmen raided the Basilan provincial jail in the capital city of Isabela, Basilan.

One escapee was killed in a clash and another was captured.  The Abu Sayyaf members staged the daring raid, by punching a hole on the prison walls and killing a jail guard before overpowering the three other guards and springing the prisoners.

One of the attackers was also killed in an ensuing firefight that wounded another jail guard, he said.

It was the fourth time in five years that prisoners had escaped from the provincial jail. At least 3 Abu Sayyaf prisoners – tagged as behind the beheading of 10 soldiers in Basilan – also escaped in December 2008 from the provincial jail after overpowering their guards.

In July 2007, at least 16 hardened criminals, including four Abu Sayyaf militants, escaped from the same prison after destroying the windows of their cell.

In April 2004, at least 53 of the more than 130 prisoners at the provincial jail, including 19 Abu Sayyaf members, also escaped using a smuggled .45-caliber pistol which they used in overpowering the guards.

On January this year,  an escape plot by Abu Sayyaf detainees was foiled at the Zamboanga City jail.

Jail authorities uncovered the plot after guards found three .45 caliber pistols concealed in two charcoal stoves brought in by a woman intended for one of the Abu Sayyaf detainees.

Last February, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), the Bureau of Correction, police, military and the city government signed a memorandum of agreement for the transfer of 57 detained Abu Sayyaf members from the Zamboanga City Jail that is located some 200 meters from the crowded Zamboanga City’s  old commercial district to the San Ramon Prison and Penal Colony, some 20 kilometers from the city proper.

San Ramon Prison and other prison facilities in the country like those in Bilibid, Muntinglupa, in Metro Manila, Coron in Palawan and Davao penal colony in Davao province are for offenders already convicted by the court.