Friday, June 2, 2017

UP says Hapilon not an alumnus

From Malaya Business Insight (Jun 2): UP says Hapilon not an alumnus

THE University of the Philippines yesterday said Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon did not graduate from the university, contrary to the claim of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

UP’s Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs said the Office of the University Registrar and the Office of Alumni Affairs did not find any record of Hapilon.

ARRM Gov. Mujib Hataman said Hapilon is a high school drop out.

The FBI, in its list of “Most Wanted Terrorists,” said Hapilon graduated from the UP School of Engineering. 

The FBI also said Hapilon’s place of birth is Bulana, Latawan, Basilan. It could be referring to Barangay Bulan-bulan, Lantawan town in Basilan.

The US Rewards for Justice is offering $5 million for information that will lead to Hapilon’s arrest. It did not provide an educational background for  Hapilon. It said Hapilon’s birth place is “Possibly Lantawan, Basilan.”

Hapilon, a senior leader of the Abu Sayyaf and previously based in Basilan, is the supposed leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Philippines. He is among those being pursued by government forces in Marawi City.

Defense officials said Hapilon went to Lanao del Sur late last year to establish an ISIS caliphate in the province. He was reported to have been seriously injured in an air strike in Butig town, Lanao del Sur last January.

Hapilon, 51, was involved in the kidnapping of 20 individuals, including three Americans, from the Dos Palmas resort in Palawan in 2001. One of Americans, Guillermo Sobero, was beheaded in Basilan.

The second American, Martin Burnham, was killed in a rescue operation in Zamboanga del Norte The third, Burnham’s wife Gracia, was rescued in the same rescue operation.

“Hapilon was indicted in the District of Columbia for his alleged involvement in terrorist acts against US nationals and other foreign nationals in and around the Republic of the Philippines,” the US Rewards for Justice said.

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