4 arrested in Maguindanao for illegal firearms not terrorists — sources

John Unson - Philstar.com
4 arrested in Maguindanao for illegal firearms not terrorists â sources
This undated satellite image shows Maguindanao province.
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MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — The four men arrested Friday in Datu Abdullah Sangki town for illegal possession of firearms belong to the 106th Base Command of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, local officials said.

The sources, among them members of different municipal peace and order councils, said Sunday it is also unlikely for Taib Guimbalangan 55, Mercipol Zainudin, 27, Ali Mohammad, 25 and the 20-year-old Farhan Saludin, to have links with criminal gangs or local terror groups, knowing their background and involvement in community peace programs.

Police Lt. Judith Ambong, chief of the Datu Abdullah Sangki police, announced Saturday that the four men were together in a black Hyundai Accent car intercepted at a checkpoint of the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion in Barangay Dimaampao in Datu Abdullah Sangki, Maguindanao

Ambong said soldiers and policemen found in their car two rifles and a grenade launcher.

The four men are now clamped down in a police detention facility.

A local leader told reporters Sunday the four men are members of the MILF’s 106th Base Command and are neither criminals nor terrorists.

“Their offense was carrying firearms and moving around without prior coordination based on existing security agreements between the MILF and the government,” another local official, who requested anonymity, said.

Guimbalangan, Zainudin, Mohammad and Saludin shall be prosecuted for illegal possession of firearms, according to the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. 

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