ZAMBOANGA CITY: Military and police forces captured four alleged terrorists hours ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Cotabato City on Saturday.
Army soldiers and police commandos raided several hideouts of the group of Abdullah Maute and seized the men. Several weapons, ammunition and improvised explosives were recovered from the group’s hideouts.
It was not immediately known how security forces tracked down the bandits, but their arrest came weeks after the military and police arrested TJ Macabalang, the prime suspect in the deadly bombing of a night market in Davao City on September 2 that killed 69 people.
Macabalang and his father Teng and two other men – also members of the Maute group – were arrested in Cotabato City, the seat of the government of the Muslim autonomous region that Duterte visited.
It was unknown whether Duterte was informed on the capture of the terrorists who were also being linked to the Davao bombing.
Duterte distributed awards and aids to poor families during his visit and spoke to hundreds of people led by Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao who welcomed him for the launching of the Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda.