IS police superintendent Maria Christina Nobleza, who was arrested in Bohol in the company of a suspected terrorist, a Trojan horse rolled into the Philippine National Police (PNP) by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)?
Police officials on Monday posed this questioned even as PNP chief, Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, wants Nobleza booted out from the police service for “sleeping with the enemy.”
Investigation conducted by the PNP revealed that Nobleza, the deputy regional director of the Davao Regional Police Office’s Crime Laboratory, is the girlfriend of suspected bomb expert Reenor Lou Dungon alias Kudre, a relative of slain ASG founder Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani.
“They were boyfriend-girlfriend. I don’t know if they are already living in. They fell in love with each other. But whatever personal thing she was doing was no longer sanctioned by the PNP. She has a relationship with an Abu Sayyaf [terrorist]… She was arrested, we will file criminal and administrative charges against her and she would be surely booted out of the police service. She is sleeping with the enemy,” de la Rosa noted.
The two were arrested after they drove past a police checkpoint on April 22 in Barangay (village) Bacani, Clarin, Bohol.
They were aboard a Nissan Navara (FGN 270), driven by Dungon in the company of an elderly woman said to be the mother-in-law of slain Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir alias Marwan; slain ASG leader Khadaffy Abubakar Janjalani; Abu Solaiman, another ASG leader, and Ahmed Akmad Santos, the leader of the Islamic militant Rajah Sulayman Movement.
A teenager with them is said to be Santos’ child.
“She is really a hardcore mother-in-law of the members of the Abu Sayyaf… [she is a scary mother-in-law. The husbands of her children are all]Abu Sayyaf leaders,” de la Rosa said in a news conference at Camp Crame in Quezon City in describing the elderly woman.
Tagging them as “high-risk,” he wanted the arrested persons transferred to Camp Crame.
“They are all high-risk. Many will have interest in them so they should be brought here to Camp Crame so that the public will be at peace. That no one will possibly sow terror. Let them create trouble in Camp Crame so that we would be happy here,” de la Roa said.
Nobleza was formerly assigned to the defunct PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group before she was assigned deputy of the Crime Laboratory in Davao.
During the arrest, she reportedly threw away her cellphone but it was immediately retrieved by police operatives who upon examining it found out that she was exchanging text messages with the remaining Abu Sayyaf bandits in Bohol who were asking to be rescued.
“Initially, it would appear that they are trying to rescue the remaining ASG members there [Bohol] but we are yet to establish if indeed that was their plan. The people may say or speculate it was a rescue operation but we cannot immediately declare so until we finish our investigation,” the PNP chief said.
When asked if Nobleza may have infiltrated the PNP, de la Rosa replied that he cannot say if she is already an ASG member.
“She could have been used through her personal connections because she is the girlfriend of an Abu Sayyaf member. Do you think other policemen or soldiers have no relatives on the enemy side? It is their personal choice if they shift loyalty to the enemy of the state. But then they have to answer for the consequences of their actions. That’s why we will dismiss her from the service and charge her,” according to the PNP chief.
Pressed to describe what had happened to Nobleza, de la Rosa said, “That’s what we are saying in [the]Visayan [language], ‘Nabuang sa gugma’ or got stupid for love. Because of her love for an Abu Sayyaf man, she allowed herself to be used. If there was really a rescue attempt, she was used and that proved she was a weak police officer and therefore should be dismissed from the service.”