From the Sun Star-Davao (Mar 20): Captured JIM leader admits Mamasapano involvement
Army and police forces escort handcuffed Mohammad Ali Tambako, the leader of a Muslim rebel group in the south who has been linked to bombings and a beheading and accused of protecting two terror suspects wanted by the United States, shortly upon arrival at Villamor Air Base at suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines Monday, March 16, 2015. (AP photo)
The military said Mohammad Ali Tambako, the arrested leader of the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM), has admitted taking part in the January 25 Mamasapano encounter that killed 44 police commandos.
Tambako, who is facing murder charges, was captured in General Santos City last Sunday.
Major General Eduardo Ano said Tambako and five of his men hid in the city after the incident in Maguindanao.
He said General Santos and nearby areas are known sanctuaries of lawless elements from Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat.
Tambako, who formed the group JIM with about 70 armed fighters last year, has been suspected by the military of giving refuge in his southern stronghold to top Malaysian terror suspect Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, long-wanted Filipino bombing suspect Abdul Basit Usman and five other foreign terrorists who specialize in bomb-making.
Tambako is a former member of the BIFF. The group expelled him last year after his men beheaded a farmer in an attack on a Christian community in the south.
Also facing murder charges are Tambako's members Mesharie Edio Gayak, Datukan Sato Sabiwang, Ali Valley Ludisima, Ibrahim Manap Kapina, and Abusahma Badrudin Guiamil.
The rebel leader and his companions are detained at the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.