Friday, February 19, 2010

ASG Member Kidnapper of Gracia Burnham Arrested

Director, Naval Public Affairs Office

Thursday, 18 February 2010

The long arm of the law has finally caught up with a suspected member of the dreaded terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group after hiding for nearly nine years. Jumadail Arad -- also known by the aliases Abu Hurayra and Asim Mangkabong Absar -- the reported speedboat operator of that daring kidnapping of the spouses Gracia and Martin Burnham and Guillermo Subero at the Dos Palmas Resort in Palawan in 27 May 2001 was arrested after over two months of intense surveillance operations by the naval intelligence.

Armed with warrants of arrest issued against him for the crimes of Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention, Murder, and Frustrated Murder, the joint team of navy intelligence operatives and elements of Southern Police District arrested the Abu Sayyaf Group member at around 5:15 PM of 18 February 2010. Arad was flagged down at the gate of Pier 2 in North Harbor in the City of Manila while he was on board a shuttle bus provided by the shipping company from Muntinlupa City where he resides to the pier where he is to board a ship bound to Zamboanga City. He initially denied his identity when he was accosted by the lawmen but had to later on submit himself to the arresting authorities when he was presented with his photographs attached to his arrest warrant.

According to MGen Juancho M Sabban, the Commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps in his report to Vice Admiral Ferdinand S Golez, the Flag Officer in Command of the Philippine Navy, Jumadail Arad has been in hiding since 2001. According to the said report, Arad laid low after Aldam Tilao a.k.a. Abu Sabaya, Hamsiraji Sali, and Khadaffy Janjalani -- top honchos of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group – were neutralized separately during fierce encounters with the security forces led by the Marines. Arad falsely believed that he has already eluded arrest after a lapse of more than nine years that he was just moving around Metro Manila and Mindanao unabated and undisturbed by lawmen.

Jumadail Arad from the Tausug tribe and a native of Patikul, Sulu was reportedly in an errand for ASG leader Isnilon Hapilon to buy ammunition when arrested. He is presently under the custody of the Philippine National Police.

The Fleet-Marine Team relentlessly pursues terrorists and enemies of the state. It shall continue its resort to ways and means to arrests the remnants of the dreaded Abu Sayyaf Group to free our fellow citizens from fear. These bandits may run for a while, but they cannot run and elude arrest forever.