Top Abu Sayyaf leader arrested in Davao

The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) arrested a top leader of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group on August 14, 2020.

Mugshot of Abu Sayyaf leader Abduljihad “Edang” Susukan. (Photo courtesy of Davao City Police Office)

Col. Kirby Kraft, DCPO director, said they served the warrant of arrest to Abduljihad “Edang” Susukan at the residence of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari in Yñigue Subdivision in Barangay Ma-a.

Susukan is also wanted in Malaysia for cross-border kidnappings on the east coast of Sabah and other criminal activities in Jolo, Sulu.

He said police officers initiated the negotiation after finding out that Susukan was brought to the city to seek medical attention.

Kraft told Philippine News Agency Friday that upon receiving an intelligence report that Susukan was in the city, they immediately secured his warrant of arrest from Sulu and Camp Crame.

Susukan has standing arrest warrants for 23 counts of murder, 10 counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, and six counts of frustrated murder.

“He is in our custody right now and we are processing his transfer. Anytime today he will be transferred to Manila,” Kraft said.

In a statement, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa has also confirmed the arrest of Susukan being facilitated by DCPO.

He also thanked Misuari for facilitating the negotiation.

“The PNP immediately advised Mayor Sara Duterte who assured us her full cooperation and assistance, to ensure the peaceful handover and orderly transfer of custody to appropriate authorities, ” Gamboa said.

Susukan will undergo a medical checkup at the Camp Quintin Merecido Hospital before being turned over to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

No immunity from arrest despite surrender

Meanwhile, the AFP said the reported surrender of Susukan to Misuari does not make him immune from arrest.

Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson, issued the statement on Thursday night following initial information on the sightings of the Abu Sayyaf leader along with Misuari in Davao City early this week.

“His giving himself up to Mr. Misuari is not the surrender contemplated under the law and does not make him immune from arrest,” he added.

Susukan, who is wanted for numerous crimes and atrocities, surrendered to Misuari in Jolo, Sulu last April.

“We are aware of the criminal cases that Susukan faces and the felonies he was charged to have committed,” Arevalo said.

He added that the AFP has taken “cognizance” of this report and remains committed to the rule of law and legal processes. (Che Palicte, Priam Nepomuceno, Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)

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