MANILA, Philippines – Four men who are allegedly supplying high-powered guns to the Abu Sayyaf Group and war lords in ARMM including politicians were arrested in San Juan City. Police Chief Inspector Roque Merdegia of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group's Anti-Transnational Crimes Unit identified the suspects as Unding Kenneth Isa, Hja Risdimona Isa, Aliamer Akarab Mandih and Hurbin Alhi Sahibul.
Armed with search warrant, ATCU agents went to Barangay West Crame in San Juan City on Saturday around 10 a.m. where they confiscated cache of M203 grenade launchers, M14, M16, and thousands of ammunition. Isa and a certain “Wahid,” both natives of Indanan, Sulu, were believed to be supplying high-powered guns to the Abu Sayyaf and other armed groups in ARMM, delivering it from Manila to Zamboanga, then to Jolo, Sulu.
The authorities said that the illegal gun running activities intensified before the 2016 national elections, wherein Isa reportedly ran for Sulu Vice Governor, but eventually lost. The CIDG added that last month that Isa and Wahid went to Manila along with unidentified extremists to buy a cache of M203 and M14 firearms, explosives components, and thousands of ammunition, upon orders of an unidentified Abu Sayyaf commander.
Upon receiving the information, the CIDG launched a surveillance operation and a test buy that led to the serving of the search warrant. Cases for violations of RA 10591 (Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act) and RA 9516 (Illegal Possession of Explosives) were filed against the suspects through inquest proceedings.