Abu Sayyaf arms procurer nabbed
- Roel Pareño () - September 27, 2001 - 12:00am
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Military intelligence agents captured yesterday an Abu Sayyaf gunrunner while trying to sneak a cache of firearms into the pier of Basilan.

Mario Benigno, alias "Yakan," who is allegedly responsible for procuring guns and ammunition for the bandits, was arrested following a long period of surveillance, said Army Col. Alexander Yano, commander of a military anti-terrorist task force.

Army Lt. Gen. Roy Cimatu, Southern Command chief, told reporters Benigno arrived in Basilan, where he resides, aboard a ferry from an undisclosed port in Mindanao.

Cimatu said Benigno admitted during tactical interrogation that he had taken part in the June 2 attack on St. Peter’s Catholic Church and the Dr. Jose Ma. Torres Memorial Hospital in Lamitan, Basilan.

"His revelations are very important to the destruction of the Abu Sayyaf," he said.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jose Mabanta said Benigno is now in the custody of Task Force Zamboanga and military intelligence.

In another development, Cimatu said the United States will not take part in the military offensive against the Abu Sayyaf to rescue American missionary couple Martin and Gracia Burnham and 16 other Filipino hostages.

"Definitely all the forces will be from Southcom," he said. "No intervention or whatever aid from the US. We can manage on our own. The Southcom has enough forces and equipment to fight the Abu Sayyaf."

The Armed Forces has not made any arrangement with the US military for American troops to help in the fight against the Abu Sayyaf, he added. With Edith Regalado, Paolo Romero

ABU SAYYAF ALEXANDER YANO ARMED FORCES ARMY COL ARMY LT BASILAN BENIGNO CIMATU DR. JOSE MA JOSE MABANTA
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with