Troops recover guns, IED components in hunt for 2 bomb-makers
Guns left behind by Edsrafil Manalasal Guiwan and Lakim Esmael are now in the custody of the Army's 40th Infantry Battalion.
via The STAR/John Unson

Troops recover guns, IED components in hunt for 2 bomb-makers

John Unson ( - December 1, 2020 - 10:27am

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — The military seized more than a dozen firearms and components for home-made bombs from two elusive bombers.

Edsrafil Manalasal Guiwan and Lakim Esmael, both of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, are tagged in recent deadly bombings in central Mindanao.

They escaped while personnel of the Army’s 40th Infantry Battalion under the 601st Infantry Brigade tried to encircle their hideouts in Sultan sa Barongis and, later, in SK Pendatun, both in Maguindanao province.

They first eluded arrest on Monday while soldiers were crawling towards their lair in Barangay Langgapanan in Sultan sa Barongis. Troops found two B-40 anti-tank rockets, an Uzi 9-mm. machine pistol and a shotgun.

Guiwan and Esmael again escaped when they sensed that members of the 40th IB were approaching their hideout in Barangay Bulod in SK Pendatun on Tuesday morning.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy of the 6th Infantry Division said soldiers seized another anti-tank rocket, a .50-cal Barret sniper rifle, seven assault rifles and a 9-mm machine pistol hidden in their shanty in a secluded area of SK Pendatun.

Three of the firearms left by Guiwan and Esmael in Barangay Bulod were vintage assault rifles.

Maguindanao's adjoining Sultan sa Barongis and SK Pendatun towns are near central Mindanao’s 220,000-hectare Liguasan Delta, where there is presence of the BIFF, also known as the Dawlah Islamiya that uses the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as banner.

Uy said the operations against Guiwan and Esmael were laid by Brig. Gen. Roy Galido and Lt. Col. Rogelio Gabi, commanders of the 601st  Brigade and 40th IB, respectively, after local officials reported their presence first in Sultan sa Barongis and, subsequently, in SK Pendatun.

Local courts earlier issued warrants for the arrest of Guiwan and Esmael for various crimes, including extortion, trafficking of shabu, multiple murder and frustrated murder.

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