Government troops recovered an arms cache and a piece of communication equipment belonging to a suspected supporter of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the province of Tawi-Tawi, the military reported Friday.
Col. Arturo Rojas, Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi commander, said the arms cache was recovered Thursday at the residence of Johan Sapanta in Sitio Saluag, Barangay Datu Baguinda Puti, Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi.
Rojas, who is also the commander of the 2nd Marine Brigade, said Sapanta managed to elude arrest upon noticing the arriving troops.
A team of military and police personnel; rushed to Sitio Saluag, Barangay Datu Baguinda Puti, Sitangkai, in response to a report of indiscriminate firing by Sapanta, the Army official said.
Government forces recovered from Sapanta’s house several firearms, ammunition, a hand-held radio transceiver, and other pieces of evidence.
Rojas said Sapanta is involved in illegal activities such as illegal drug trade, smuggling, and gambling.
“Usually this kind of person is a supporter or contact of ASG,” Rojas said. “This is part of our continuing efforts to hit the critical nodes of the illicit network which has converged with terrorists.” (PNA/Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)