Abu Sayyaf commander turned-over, not arrested-MNLF

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DAVAO CITY —  The Moro National Liberation Front led by founding chairman Nur Misuari clarified Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Anduljihad “Edang” Susukan was turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP), and was not arrested at his residence in Maa, Davao City on Thursday evening.

Rolando Olamit, MNLF’s Secretary General in an interview with Newsline Friday morning revealed, “We turned over even before the scheduled formal turn over surrender ceremony with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP) because we fear that the process will be sabotaged because Malaysian authorities have been wanting him”.

Olamit’s statement coincides with the pronouncement of PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa that Susukan was turned over  in Davao City Thursday night.

“We thank Chairman Nur Misuari for facilitating the negotiation between the PNP headed by PCol Kirby John Kraft, Davao City Director, and Edang Susukan,” said Gamboa in a statement.

In an exclusive interview with Olamit he revealed “The process for the official surrender of Susukan to OPPAP  started last April in Jolo, when he surrendered to Chairman Misuari, but the coronavirus-19 quarantine lockdown delayed the process, so when  Davao City quarantine status was relaxed last July 15, we decided to again continue the process and bring him to Davao City to avail of the artificial arm, to show that the government has done something even before the formal turn-over”.

Moro National Liberation Front Secretary General representing Chairman Nur Misuari talks to Davao City Police Director Kirby Kraft during the turn over ofAbu Sayyaf sub-commander Edang Susukan in Maa, Davao City on Thursday night.-Photo Courtesy? MNLF

On Sunday, Olamit said, Susukan and Misuari arrived in Davao City on Sunday, August 9, and was immediately brought  to Southern Philippines Medical Center to a swab test after which, he was allowed to rest  while waiting for the  result of the test and the placement of his artificial arm, “But naudlot kasi si Jakiri, who claims to be a leader of MNLF alarmed the Malaysian authorities kaya uminit na—- natakot kami na baka maudlot ang talks with OPPAP, nag decide kami noong Huebes na i-turn-over na at ipaalam kay Mayor Inday ang sitwasyon (But the plan was hampered when Jakiri who claims to be a leader of MNLF alarmed the Malaysian authorities, which resulted to a tensed situation – we feared that the talks  with OPPAP will be sabotaged, so, on Thursday, we decided to turn him over to authorities and inform Mayor Inday (Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio) regarding the situation)”.

Gamboa in a statement said he immediately advised Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on the arrest. The mayor, in return assured the PNP of the city’s full cooperation and assistance in the peaceful handover and orderly transfer of Susukan’s custody to police authorities.

Police authorities led by Davao City Police Director Colonel Kirby Kraft went to Misuari’s house in Barangay Maa and read the Miranda Rights before the “hand-over” of Edang took place at around 8:00 in the evening.

From Maa, police operatives brought Edang to Davao City Police for the booking procedure and then proceeded to the PNP regional headquarter in Camp Quintin in Catitipan this City.

Edang, an Abu Sayyaf subleader, also known as notorious for kidnapping and beheadings, is charged with 23 counts of murder, five counts of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, and six counts of frustrated murder.

As of now, Olamit said, Edang is undergoing medical check-up at Camp Quintin Merecido Hospital in Davao City and will be turned over to the Armed Forced of the Philippines general headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City today.

Rolando Olamit, MNLF’s Secretary General Rolando Olamit talks to suspected Abu Sayyaf leader Edang Susukan and his wife prior to the turn over on Thursday night in Maa, Davao City.-MNLF photo

On reports that Misuari is coddling Idang, Olamit said “Paano kami mag-coddle ng Abu Sayyaf kami ang tumutulong sa gobierno  na mag-surrender sila,  ngayon kami pa ang masama— mali yan— hindi ganun ang MNLF (How can we coddle Abu Syaff members when we are helping the government for them to surrender. Now, we are seen as being bad? It is wrong, MNLF is not like that)”.

Edang lost his left arm during an encounter in Patikul, Sulu in February 2019.

President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly announced he will request Misuari to help solve the conflict in Mindanao given his position as the  former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, he also appointed Misuari sa the country’s special economic envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. –Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph

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