By MARTIN A. SADONGDONG
Two men suspected as sympathizers of the international terror group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), were arrested recently by joint police and military forces in Laguna, the Philippine National Police (PNP) bared yesterday.
Authorities said Jimuel Velasco Dizon alias Amir and Eddie Boy Alejo Bermejo alias Abdullah, both of legal age, were apprehended in a joint operation led by operatives of the PNP’s Crime Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), together with the PNP’s Counter-Terrorism Division-Intelligence Group (PNP-CTD-IG), and the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Intelligence Services (ISAFP).
The two are suspected “Balik Islam” members and remnants of the Suyuful Khilafa Fil Luzon, reportedly one of more than 20 armed groups that are trying to establish an ISIS stronghold here.
According to a police report, the operating officers served two separate search warrants against the two suspects in their respective residences in Barangay Mamatid, Cabuyao City and Barangay Tagapo, Santa Rosa both in Laguna around 4:30 a.m. last Thursday.
The report said search warrant Nos. L395 and L396 were issued by the San Pablo City Regional Trial Court Branch 29 and 32, dated April 23, in violation of RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.
The operating officers confiscated from the suspects two black ISIS flags, two fragmentation hand grenades, two improvised explosive devices (IEDs), three .45 pistols, a .38 revolver, various ammunition and a laptop.
PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde earlier said no terror groups have entered the country.
“I have yet to talk to the AFP but I think there are no additional terror groups that have penetrated our borders.
Hopefully, the remaining terror groups in the country will be arrested by our force in the coming days,” he said.
Authorities refused to disclose further details as they said a follow-up operation have been conducted to apprehend other members of the Suyuful Khilafa Fil Luzon.