Tag Archive: Alan Arrojado


Government troops seized two Abu Sayyaf encampments in Patikul, Sulu, after a clash with the bandits Thursday afternoon, the military said.

Brigadier GeneralĀ Alan Arrojado, Armed Forces Joint Task Group Sulu commander, said soldiers encountered about 30 Abu Sayyaf members in Sitio Mabusing, Brgy. Langhub, around 1 p.m.

Elements of the Army’s 10th Scout Ranger Company were conducting field military operations when the encountered the bandits led by Abu Sayyaf sub-commanders Muammar Askali alis “Abu Rami,” Namel Ahajari alias “Namel Gapas,” and Arkam Udjaman alias “Isran,” he said.

A 15-minute firefight ensued, until the troops seized a temporary encampment that can accomodate 50 people, Arrojado said.

Soldiers found a rifle grenade, M16 magazine with 45 rounds of ammunition, and foodstuff at the camp.

No soldier was wounded while intelligence operatives reported that two Abu Sayyaf members were injured, Arrojado said.

Members of the 11th Scout Ranger Company operating nearby later found a larger encampment, he said.

The other camp has 18 fox holes and can accomodate 80 to 100 people, and is believed to be where the bandit group’s “main body” had positioned, Arrojado said. (John Roson)

– end –

Two persons were injured when a grenade lobbed by still unidentified men exploded near the home of Sulu Vice Gov. Abdusakur Tan in Jolo Wednesday night, the military said.

Injured were Andel Aziz Asiri, 31, of Patikul, and Haidar Hasim, 28, of Brgy. Tulay, Jolo, said Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, commander of the Armed Forces’ Joint Task Group Sulu.

The explosion occurred around 7:50 p.m. along Loay st., Brgy. Asturias.

It happened only about 150 meters from the home of Tan, who is running for governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the May 9 elections, a source said.

Authorities initially reported that an improvised explosive device went off, but Arrojado said a grenade’s safety lever was found later at the blast site.

Policemen cordoned the area and brought Asiri and Hasim to the Sulu Integrated Provincial Health Office for treatment.

Arrojado said investigators are looking at a claim that the grenade throwers were members of feuding clans in Talipao and unvalidated information that they were Abu Sayyaf.

Abu Sayyaf members are reportedly targetting civilians who give information to the military, he said.

Another security source said the blast “appears” to have something to do with Tan’s candidacy for ARMM governor. Tan is running as an independent against incumbent Gov. Mujiv Hataman and two others in the upcoming polls.

“Parang scenario eh, kasi kung target talaga ‘yung bahay, bakit hindi pa doon pinasabog? Pero hindi mo rin naman masabing ganun na nga, kasi hindi naman basta-basta makakahinto dun sa tapat ng bahay dahil may blue guards doon,” the source said. (John Roson)

– end –

Three civilians, two of them students, were injured as Abu Sayyaf members and village watchmen clashed near a school in Patikul, Sulu, Friday afternoon, the military said.

Injured were Nurhaida Jadja, 18, and Marni Suhuri, 17, both students of the Patikul National High School; and Hadji Anni Abubayong, 61, said Brigadier General Alan Arrojado, commander of the Armed Forces’ Joint Task Group-Sulu.

All three were injured by shrapnel from M203 grenades fired by the Abu Sayyaf, with the students getting hit on the head and neck, Arrojado said in a text message.

The fighting erupted past 2 p.m. near the Patikul National High School in Brgy. Taglibi.

Minutes earlier, about 40 Abu Sayyaf members led by Muammar Askali alias “Abu Rami” set fire to an abandoned military detachment in that village, Arrojado said.

One Engineer Makapagal Tammang, who handles a road project of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Brgy. Pandanun, then passed by Taglibi on a local councilor’s pick-up.

As Tammang neared the old detachment, gunmen flagged down the pick-up and tried to take Tammang by force, Arrojado said.

Firefight erupted when members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) escorting Tammang resisted, he said.

Fighting lasted for about 20 minutes. Other BPAT members reinforced their colleagues, then the Abu Sayyaf to withdrew towards Brgy. Kabuntakas via Brgy. Bakung.

No casualties were reported among the BPAT members and the Abu Sayyaf, while the injured civilians were brought to the Integrated Provincial Health Office, Arrojado said. (John Roson)

– end –

Mount Tumantangis as seen from Jolo, Sulu (AFP JTG-Sulu photo)

Mount Tumantangis as seen from Jolo and Patikul, Sulu (AFP JTG-Sulu photo)

Fancy a trek to one of the Abu Sayyaf’s mountain playgrounds in Sulu? That’s in the pipeline.

Officials from different government agencies, backed by the military of course, are set to climb Bud Tumantangis, or Mount Tumantangis, on Saturday and Sunday with the aim of raising awareness for its conservation and, hopefully, promoting it as a tourist attraction.

Among those who will trek up are representatives of the Department of Tourism, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Sulu provincial government, said Colonel Alan Arrojado, commander of the Armed Forces’ Joint Task Group Sulu.

Two Army and Marines battalions were earlier deployed around the mountain to ensure security, he said.

Tumantangis, which straddles the towns of Indanan and Patikul, is the highest peak in the Sulu archipelago at 2,661 feet (811.0728 meters).

The peak offers a view of the entire Sulu archipelago, neighboring Basilan, and sometimes, even the Zamboanga Peninsula.

“It’s the first thing you’ll see when coming to the province by sea, and the last thing when you leave… Maganda ang sunrise at sunset. ‘Pag clear ang sky, hanggang Zamboanga makikita mo,” Arrojado said.

Tumantangis also holds historical significance as the tomb-monument of Sharif ul-Hashim Abu Bakar — the first to hold the title of “sultan” in Sulu — is on the mountain.

People interested in wildlife can also find monkeys, locally called “mamak,” at Tumantangis.

This weekend’s trek will see government officials identify areas where trails, steps, and even “base camps” can be placed for future climbers to use, Arrojado said.

“Initiative ko ito, initiative namin, kasi kung nagagawa sa ibang bundok, sa Mount Apo (in Davao), sa Bongao peak (in Tawi-Tawi), sa Mount Pulag (in Northern Luzon), why not in Sulu? ‘Yun ang approach namin ngayon dito,” he said.

The tourism projects, however, are still being planned as, unlike frequently-climbed mountains in the country, Tumantangis has one stinging problem — the Abu Sayyaf.

Members of the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf, blamed for kidnappings, killings, and bombings, are known to roam around the mountain’s foothills.

“Hindi katulad ng Mount Apo na madalas akyatin, itong Tumantangis kahit ‘yung mga taga-dito mismo sa Jolo, hindi pa nila ito naaakyat. Wala pang nakakaakyat maliban siguro sa Abu Sayyaf,” Arrojado said.

Armed elements of the Moro National Liberation Front loyal to founding chairman Nur Misuari also have encampments at the slopes, particularly in Brgy. Kadday Langpas, Indanan.

Currently, the Abu Sayyaf still holds several captives, including Ewold Horn of the Netherlands — a birdwatcher snatched in the neighboring province of Tawi-Tawi in February 2012.

While the military says that Abu Sayyaf members were last seen at Tumantangis in 2007, the last reported instance of captives being held there was in 2008, when the bandits allegedly brought ABS-CBN television reporter Ces Drilon, two of her crew, and their professor guide to the mountain.

Tumantangis, which literally means “weeping,” did not get its name from the ordeal that Abu Sayyaf captives suffered while being held there.

“Lagi kasing may tubig na bumababa sa bundok kaya para siyang umiiyak. In fact, ito ang source ng tubig sa entire Sulu Island. At ito ‘yung isa sa mga dahilan kaya bakit kailangan magkaroon ng awareness at maprotektahan ‘yung virgin forests dito,” Arrojado said.

To help achieve that, the climb will also include a tree-planting activity, he said.

Arrojado said teams of soldiers are now conducting clearing operations on Tumantangis every now and then not only to ensure the security of this weekend’s climb, but also future treks.

Once tourists come to Tumantangis, residents are expected to earn money through services that cater to needs of trekkers and backpackers, he said.

It is hoped that by then, Sulu will finally be rid of the tag of being “one of the most dangerous places on earth,” Arrojado said. (John Roson)

– end –

14 killed in Sulu clashes – military

Five soldiers were killed and 26 others were wounded when government troops clashed with a large band of Abu Sayyaf members in Talipao, Sulu, Friday afternoon, military officials said.

Nine Abu Sayyaf members were also killed while more than 30 other bandits were wounded, Colonel Alan Arrojado, commander of the Armed Forces’ Joint Task Group Sulu, said in a statement.

Soldiers encountered about 300 bandits led by Abu Sayyaf top leader Radullan Sahiron in a series of clashes that lasted for five hours, he said.

Major Edilberto Aramponi, JTG Sulu’s civil-military operations officer, said the first clash in Brgy. Bud Bunga started 1:50 p.m. and another erupted 4:30 p.m.

Elements of the elite Army Scout Rangers’ 3rd Battalion, numbering about 150, met the Abu Sayyaf twice and the bandits used grenade launchers, Aramponi said by phone.

“Mayroon ding ibang units na kasali doon sa operation, nandoon din ‘yung 35th Infantry Battalion at saka Marines, pero ‘yung Rangers ang nakahagip,” he said.

The slain soldiers, all enlisted personnel, belong to that unit, Aramponi said.

It was not immediately known if the wounded soldiers include officers.

Arrojado said an MD520 attack helicopter was deployed to support ground troops during the fighting.

Hairullah Asbang, an Abu Sayyaf sub-commander, reportedly died of bullet wounds inflicted by the attacking aircraft, he said.

Those reported killed on the Abu Sayyaf side also include Hamer Absara and Beting Jakka, Sahiron’s brother-in-law, Arrojado said.

Aramponi said troops have yet to recover any of the slain bandits, but were able to confirm their deaths thru intelligence operatives.

Arrojado said pursuit operations against the bandits will go on through the night.

“More troops were sent to block the escape routes of the bandits. We will continuously pursue them in their jungle hideouts,” he said.

More than 2,500 soldiers are presently in Sulu to run after Abu Sayyaf members, following an order by President Benigno Aquino to stop the al Qaeda-linked group’s kidnapping activities “once and for all.”

The “law enforcement operation” against the Abu Sayyaf was launched after the bandits released German captives Stefan Viktor Okonek and Henrike Dielen on October 17. (John Roson)

– end –