The military has tagged six followers of a sub-leader of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf as behind the abduction of a son of a municipal treasurer in the troubled island southern province of Sulu on Tuesday.
Capt. Rowena Muyuela, military spokeswoman of the Armed Forces’ Western Mindanao Command, said that six suspects behind the kidnapping of Eljon Steven Marzo were identified.
“Reports from ground troops disclosed that six followers of the Abu Sayyaf Group under Sub-Leader Sibih Pisih were identified as abductors of a kidnap victim (Eljon Steven Marzo),” said Muyuela.
Eljon, 9, is a student of Notre Dame of Jolo and son of Maimbung Municipal Treasurer Jun Marzo. He was playing outside their house when he was forcibly taken by the suspects on board a motorcycle, after which they fled towards Barangay Anuling, Patikul, Sulu.
According to Muyuela, among the identified perpetrators (kidnappers) were Sherwin Dela Cruz; Abdel Dela Cruz; Alrashid Panduga (a.k.a Ullok); Isabelo Panduga (a.k.a Belong Jordan Cabrera); a certain Askali; and Mabeh Kuhutan.
The military had earlier said that one of the abductors was identified as Abu Sayyaf sub-Leader Namyel Ahajari (a.k.a Gapas),
Muyuela who quoted Colonel Allan Arrojado, Commander, Joint Task Group Sulu.as telling that hot pursuit operations and continuous monitoring are ongoing.
“Meanwhile, no negotiations have been made by the abductors,” she said. “AFP and PNP continue to buckle law enforcement operations to contain lawless groups in the area.”