Sayyaf escapes from police custody; mayor orders hunt PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 13:28

By DAN TORIBIO and

SHEILA COVARRUBIAS

One of two Abu Sayyaf militants, who was arrested by government forces on June 2, escaped from police custody while he was being taken to the Zamboanga City Jail before noon Tuesday. Immediately Mayor Beng Climaco ordered a massive manhunt operation against Usup.
DZT gathered that Alnhur Usup y Bacalso, 28, alias Abu Arab-Arab and Arab Puti, of Talon-Talon together with a suspected drug pusher were aboard a police vehicle and escorted by policemen on the way to city jail for detention when he managed to unlock the handcuffs on his wrist and jumped from the window of the L300 police vehicle along Magay Sttreet.
It was learned that only one pairof handcuffsholding Usup and the other accused.
Police sources said when Usup jumped from the vehicle, the other detainee was left aboard as he refused to go with the wanted Abu Sayyaf.
Usup and the other accused along with police escorts had just come from the court to secure commitment order and were heading for the city jail when the escape took place.
Witnesses told the police that Usup darted towards the city’s old commercial district and eluded policemen who chased him.
Usup with a cohort identified as Jamal Labuan y Sapie, 32, of Taluksangay were arrested by government forces led by Chief Insp. Edilberto Alvarez, along Gov. Camins Avenue at dawn last June 2.
Usup has a standing warrant of arrest for murder in connection with the Talipao massacre sometimes in 2014. During their arrest, lawmen recovered a fragmentation grenade, shabu and three stolen motorcycles.
The two had also engaged in stealing of motorcycles and selling of shabu.
Enraged by the escaped, Mayor Climaco likewise ordered City Police Director PSupt. Luisito Magnaye to explain the circumstances surrounding the incident.
She said a thorough investigation should also be conducted immediately to determine who should be held liable for the lapses.
“Manhunt operations against the suspected ASG should be launched and police authorities should implement the full force of the law,” the mayor declared noting that this is not the first time that such an incident involving detainees under the custody of the City Police Office happened.
She described the incident as a very serious matter that needs serious action.
A separate report said Usup, 28, married, of Talon-Talon, were jointly handcuffed, tried to grapple with SPO4 Montasil Amirul, their lone security, in an attempt to grab the police service firearm while on transit.
In the midst of the scuffle, Usup managed to unlock the handcuff and jumped from the van’s window.
Meanwhile,uunits from the Western Mindanao Command (WESMINCOM) overran two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) camps in Talipao, Sulu on Monday morning.
WESMINCOM spokesperson Major Filemon Tan said troops from the 45th Infantry Battalion made the capture at around 10 a.m. at Barangay Sinumaan, Talipao town.
The troops were conducting clearing operations against the bandits who beheaded Canadian hostage Robert Hall last June 13 after the governments of the Philippines and Canada snubbed their PhP300 million ransom demand.
Last April 25, the bandits also beheaded Canadian John Ridsel.
The two were among the four hostages taken from Samal Island by the bandits last Sept. 21.
Still under the ASG captivity are Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingtad and Filipina Marites Flor, Hall’s girlfriend.
The captured camps can accommodate approximately 150 persons and have running trenches with potable water within the perimeter.
“Also found in the area were hammocks, water containers and other personal belongings of the ASG members. Operating troops continue to scour and conduct blockades in the area,” Tan said. — Dan Toribio Jr. and Sheila Covarrubias