THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is verifying reports that a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who was reportedly killed by a fellow bandit was the same Philippine Army captain who went absent without official leave (AWOL) in 2008.
“We are validating reports regarding the killing of Nazmil Ali. And we are also verifying a report that he was indeed the former Army Capt. Khalid Sali who went AWOL in 2008, or seven years ago,” Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office, said on Wednesday.
The reports said Sali was killed during a quarrel by Akil, a nephew of ASG leader Rafullan Sahiron alias Commander Putol, on Monday afternoon in Kabuntakas in Sulu province.
A source at Camp Aguinaldo, the military’s main headquarters in Quezon City, said Sali changed his name to Nazmil Ali when he joined the bandit group.
He was a former member of the Moro National Liberation Front before he and other MNLF fighters were integrated into the AFP and the Philippine National Police after completion of peace talks between the separatist group and the government.
The source said that before Sali went Awol, he was assigned to the Army’s 6th Infantry Division in Maguindanao.
He was reportedly a nephew of current MNLF Sulu Vice Chairman for Military Affairs Tahir Sali.
Sali was immediately buried, according to a civilian informant from Kabuntakas.