A combined police and military team arrested on Saturday in Indanan, Sulu a village chief who was allegedly involved in the kidnapping of three foreigners and a Filipina in Samal Island.
Joint Task Force Sulu spokesman Colonel Rodrigo Gregorio identified the suspect as Fauzia Abdulla, chairwoman of Bgy. Niyog Sangahan in Talipao, Sulu.
Gregorio said Abdulla was arrested around 11:15 a.m. on Saturday in Kilometer 2, Indanan, Sulu based on a warrant issued by Judge Dax Gonzaga Xenos of Regional Branch 34 of Panabo City for kidnapping with homicide.
The suspect was allegedly involved in the kidnapping of Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Marites Flor from a resort in Samal Island in 2015.
The victims were brought to Sulu by the Abu Sayyaf Group where they were held captive.
Ridsdel and Hall were later beheaded separately while Flor and Sekkingstad were released September this year.
The report said Abdulla was coddling ASG members by providing sanctuary, information network and food; and also involved decision-making with the ASG.
Geronimo said Abdulla is now being held at Sulu PPO.
Brig. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, commander of JTFS, said the arrest of Abdulla is a major blow in the leadership of the ASG.
“The ASG’s information network, command and decision making will be severely affected with the arrest of a major figure in their leadership,” Dela Vega said.
“The arrest of Abdulla was the result of intensified cooperation between the people of Sulu, our soldiers and policemen in protecting local communities from terrorism. Our soldiers will continue to conduct operations to destroy the ASG and rescue the remaining hostages,” he added.