From the Philippine Star (Aug 21): 2 ASG members nabbed in Zamboanga
Government security forces captured two Abu Sayyaf militants, including a sub-leader tagged in the Lamitan siege in Basilan province, in separate law enforcement operations late Wednesday in this Zamboanga City.
The captured suspects were identified as Nur Hassan alias Hassan, a sub-leader wanted for his alleged participation in the string of kidnappings and the Lamitan siege, and Jemhar Halillula Alih with aliases of Memay Alih, Ustadz Haepa and Ustadz Wahid.
Hassan was captured inside the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) area at 6:10 p.m. Wednesday by joint elements of the Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ), Army intelligence unit and the police. Meanwhile, Alih fell into the hands of the joint police intelligence unit about 11:15 p.m. during a raid at his safehouse in the coastal village of Taluksangay, east of this city.
Col. Andrelino Colina, chief of the TFZ, an anti-terror unit, said Hassan, a native of Basilan, was spotted by tracking military intelligence inside the vicinity of the port area prompting his unit and police forces to conduct the operation backed with the warrant of arrest issued by two courts in Isabela City, Basilan.
“The suspects have pending 12 cases of kidnapping with serious illegal detention with ransom based on the warrant of arrest issued by the local courts of Isabela City,” Colina said.
He said the cases against Hassan include the Lamitan siege incident last June 2001 and the abduction of plantation workers in Barangay Tairan, Lantawan town on the same year.
The suspect was brought to the Philippine Center for Transnational Crim inside the police headquarters for documentation and subsequently turned over to the custody of the police.
Senior Superintendent Angelito Casimiro, city police director, said the joint police intelligence unit captured Alih who has a pending warrant of arrest for carnapping and attempted murder issued by Judge Catherine Fabian of Regional Trial Court Branch 16.
The apprehending forces recovered from Alih a fragmentation grenade and a pistol pouch.
Alih was detained at the city police office while undergoing tactical interrogation.
It is like saying that we cross the bridge when we reach it. But this is not in a way forgetting the forest, because the tree is part of it.
This frame of mind and way of handling situation, the MILF, after 17 long and harsh years of negotiation, has managed to sign the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) in 2012 and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in 2014. These two agreements are indeed historic, which can only be surpassed by one that is above and over an autonomous arrangement with the government.
To illustrate this point: After the long years of protracted negotiation, the MILF has led the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) in crafting the BBL, which underwent real deliberations and multi-layers of decision-making. It was difficult as it was time-consuming. Today, the real happening is in the Office of the President (OP) where the proposed BBL is under scrutiny; after which the battle will shift to Congress, then to the conduct of the plebiscite in which people will approve (or disapprove) of the BBL. That is not the end of the trials and tribulations. It is almost certain that people or groups will question the constitutionality of the BBL before the Supreme Court. All of these scenarios are risks-laden, but the MILF is not cowed at all.
This explains the reason why the MILF refuses to answer questions on the basis of supposition; e.g., suppose Congress will not pass the BBL, suppose the BBL is not ratified, suppose the BBL is declared unconstitutional.
“Man shall have nothing except what he strives for,” says the Holy Qur’an. This is the basis of the MILF working formula. It is rare or not at all that success comes in handy or on a silver platter. There are no rewards without risk. Taking risks is part of the undertaking.
Be this as it may, the good news, however, is that after several delays, the MILF and the government are currently struggling to finish an “agreed version” of the BBL for submission to Congress, after the President certifies it as urgent bill. It is not an easy undertaking but what is good is that both parties are in a problem-solving exercise. They have also set aside rigidity in favor of creativity, so that even hard issues are not handled fairly well.
With the rate, the Parties are going in resolving the remaining issues in the BBL; chances are that it will be submitted to Congress very soon.