MANILA, Philippines – A suspected Abu Sayyaf leader has been arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), officials said yesterday.
Chief Superintendent Fernando Mendez, director of the Intelligence Group (IG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Ustadz Burhan Malban Mundos, alias Burhan Mundos, was arrested on Nov. 20 after arriving from Zamboanga City.
Mundos was tagged by police and military intelligence as the solicitor of foreign funds and armaments for the Abu Sayyaf.
Mendez clarified Mundos went to Metro Manila to attend a hearing of one of his bombing cases in Taguig City, not to continue soliciting funds for the Abu Sayyaf from foreign sources.
Senior Superintendent Ronald Lee, head of the PNP-IG’s Counter-Intelligence Division, said Mundos kept silent on his role in the Abu Sayyaf.
“He ignored questions thrown at him by our anti-terrorist investigators,” Lee said.
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A local official said the Abu Sayyaf is receiving funds from abroad to support its operation in Basilan.
Ungkaya Pukan, Basilan Vice Mayor Joel Maturan said the Abu Sayyaf group was monitored recruiting new members and promising allowances up to P15,000 each.
“We heard this information that they are receiving financial support from abroad and we are verifying the information,” Maturan said.
Maturan doubted reports that the Abu Sayyaf used talk of foreign support to lure new members. He believes the bandit group is actually sourcing its funds from the ransom paid by people its members kidnapped and the extortion money paid by local officials, business owners and teachers. – With Roel Pareño