Abu Sayyaf involved in 2001 Dos Palmas kidnapping falls


Combined navy and police intelligence operatives arrested late Thursday afternoon an alleged member of the Abu Sayyaf (ASG) group involved in the kidnapping of tourists in a posh Palawan resort in 2001.

Lt. Colonel Edgard Arevalo, Navy spokesman, identified the arrested Abu Sayyaf member as Jumadail Arad alias Abu Hurayna and Asim Mangkabong Absar.

In a statement released Friday, Arevalo said police from the Southern Police District (SPD), together with the Navy, arrested Arad late Thursday at the gate of Pier 2 in North Harbor, Manila, right before boarding a ferry vessel bound for Zamboanga City.

The navy spokesman said two months of surveillance operation by navy intelligence personnel led to the arrest of the Abu Sayyaf leader.

Police and navy operatives caught Arad aboard a shuttle bus provided by a shipping company from Muntinglupa City where the Abu Sayyaf leader lives.

Arad has a warrant of arrest for serious illegal detention, kidnapping, murder and frustrated murder.

A Tausug native of Patikul, Sulu, Arrad was reportedly on an errand for ASG leader Isnilon Hapilon to buy ammunition when arrested. He is presently under the custody of the Philippine National Police.

Arad is believed by authorities to be one of the ASG bandits that mounted the highly publicized kidnapping of local and foreign tourists in Palawan in May 27, 2001.  The ASG abducted the tourists that stayed at the Dos Palmas beach resort and later held them captive in Basilan.

Businessman Rhegis Romero and American missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham were among those kidnapped in Palawan. Martin was killed a year after, during a military rescue operation in the Zambaoanga peninsula.

Major General Juancho Saban, Marine Corps commandant, said that Arad has been in hiding since 2001 after Aldam Tilao alias Abu Sabaya, the flamboyant spokesman of the Abu Sayyaf was killed in a 2001 sea battle in Basilan.

The marine commandant said Arad operated the speedboat the ASG used in kidnapping the Burnham couple and several others staying at the Dos Palmas beach resort in Palawan.

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