SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: Village watchmen who alerted authorities on the presence in a Marawi village of Indonesian terrorist Mohamadin Ilham Syaputra will be given special citations by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the ARRM Police Regional Office (PRO-ARMM).
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, said the watchmen, members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT), were instrumental in the arrest in Marawi City on Wednesday of Syaputra, who played a pivotal role in the Marawi City siege.
Chief Supt. Graciano Mijares, PRO-ARMM director, said they were elated at the vigilance of the BPAT team, who was the first to detect Syaputra’s presence in Barangay Loksadatu in Marawi City.
“That goes to show that if there is strong cooperation among the communities, the police and the military, we can efficiently address domestic security issues,” Mijares said.
He added that he is thankful that the Marawi City police chief, Supt. Ebra Moxsir, acted immediately on the tip of the BPAT members and barangay (village) residents who detained Syaputra when they found out that he is not a Maranao and could hardly even speak any Philippine dialect.
Mijares and Hataman, chairman of the inter-agency peace and order council in ARMM, said of the BPAT members, “We can grant citations at our level and initiative. I’m sure their local government unit will also recognize their laudable feat.”
According to a reliable source, there were more than 10 Indonesians in the combined armed group of Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists who laid siege to Marawi City on May 23 and battled government forces until October 23.
The source said most of the Indonesians entered Mindanao through Gen. Santos City from North Sulawesi, whose territorial waters are frequented by fishing vessels from Sarangani province.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL