A Metro Manila regional court sentenced to life imprisonment a defeated candidate, also tagged by the police as a leader of the Daesh-linked Abu Sayyaf terrorists, following his conviction for illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
The court in suburban San Juan City in Metro Manila imposed the stiff penalty on Kenneth Isa who was found guilty beyond reasonable doubt for 11 counts of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
In its 20-page decision, the court rejected isa’s claim that he did not own the huge illegal cache because he was just a visitor when the police team raided the house.
Isa was arrested in September 2016 from a house literally a stone’s throw away from the Philippine National Police (PN P) national headquarters where the raiding team confiscated assorted high-powered firearms like M-16 assault rifles, grenade launchers, pistols, materials for the manufacture of improvised bombs and 8,000 rounds of assorted ammunition.
Superintendent Roque Merdegia, the head of the raiding team, told the court that aside from being an Abu Sayyaf leader, Isa was also involved in gunrunning activities from Metro Manila for the “warlords” on the island provinces of Sulu and Basilan in Mindanao.
Merdega likewise revealed that isa ran but lost in the vice-gubernatorial race in Sulu, where the Abu Sayyaf operate with impunity, in the May 2016 national election.
Meanwhile, police confirmed on Saturday that the Abu Sayyaf released the principal of a public school in the town of Patikul, Sulu whom they had abducted.
“A little amount was given to the kidnappers as token — for cigarettes,” admitted a member of the family of Marjorie Abdul, who was abducted while at work in school on Thursday morning but was released later on that same day.
Police also confirmed that another public school teacher, identified as Doris Hamsirani, was abducted by the Abu Sayyaf on March 7 but was freed on Tuesday after her family likewise paid a “token” ransom.
The military blamed the Abu Sayyaf and the Maute Group that pledged allegiance to the Daesh, for the siege of Marawi, the capital city of Lanao del Sur, on May 23, 2017 that prompted President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte to declare martial law over the whole of troubled Mindanao.