ZAMBOANGA CITY: A P1 million reward was given to an informant whose tip led to the killing of notorious Abu Sayyaf Group leader Alhabsi Misaya, in the village of Silangkan in Parang, Sulu.
The informant received the bounty which the military claimed was raised by civilians in Sulu as reward for the April 29 killing of Misaya.
The Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) claimed that Misaya, a former Moro National Liberation Front rebel, was killed by soldiers in an operation but other reports said the terrorist leader was slain by one of his men after he allegedly doubled-crossed them over ransom money. One report said he was killed by an MNLF member over an old feud.
After Misaya was killed, the assailants handed over the body to soldiers in exchange for the reward money.
Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr., WestMinCom chief, personally handed the reward to the unidentified informant in Zamboanga City on Friday which was announced on Saturday.
“A reward was voluntarily generated by concerned individuals from Sulu who were elated at the confirmation of Misaya’s death by Joint Task Force Sulu,” Galvez said.
“The group who requested that their identity be kept anonymous wish to recognize the assistance extended by the informant to the government troops as well as encourage other residents of Sulu to do the same,” he added.
A profile the military released said Misaya was involved in the October 2002 roadside bombing near an Army base in Zamboanga City that killed US soldier, Sgt. Mark Jackson. Another American soldier training Philippine troops in anti-terrorism and 22 Filipino soldiers were wounded in the attack. Misaya was also blamed for the January 2009 bombing of Salaam Bridge in Indanan, Sulu that previous military commanders said was perpetrated by the MNLF.
The military said that Misaya was involved in heinous crimes, including the beheading of foreign and Filipino Abu Sayyaf captives. Also, he was behind the kidnapping of Japanese treasure hunter Katayama Mamaito in July 2010 at Pangutaran town also in Sulu and the bombing of a coffee shop in Jolo town that killed four civilians and wounded 11 others.
He was also linked to the November 2012 kidnappings of Malaysians Tung Wee Jie and Tung Wee Wei in a cross-border raid in Sabah, and the February 2014 kidnapping of Sugar Dianne Esperanza Buenviaje in Mapun, Tawi-Tawi.