MANILA – The death of four military intelligence operatives in the hands of Jolo police officers last June 29 disrupted ongoing operations against the two suicide bombers involved in Monday’s twin blasts, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay said on Thursday.
“Aside from missing the opportunity of capturing these two suicide bombers, it has caused disruption in our intelligence operations in the area, so this disruption in our intelligence coverage for these suicide bombers and activities of Abu Sayyaf in Jolo and in other parts of Sulu somehow led to this incident,” Gapay said in an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source.
Gapay is requesting that charges be immediately filed against the policemen involved in the shooting of their intelligence operatives “to ensure swift dispensation of justice so that it could prevent or preclude anymore speculation as to the motive of the incident.”
Earlier, Philippine Army (PA) commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana identified the two suicide bombers by their aliases – “Nanah”, a resident of Basilan, and “Inda Nay”, a Sulu resident who later relocated to Tawi-Tawi. Sobejana said “Nanah” was the wife of the first confirmed Filipino suicide bomber, Norman Lasuca, who conducted the attack against the 1st Brigade Combat Team in Sulu on June 28, 2019, which left seven people dead and 12 others wounded.
Meanwhile, “Inda Nay” was the widow of reported Islamic State conduit, Abu Talha, who was killed following an encounter with the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion in November 2019.
“The two female suicide bombers are the same targets being tracked by the group of Maj. (Marvin) Indammog before they were killed by policemen on 29 June 2020,” Sobejana added.
Indammog, Capt. Irwin Managuelod, Sgt. Jaime Velasco, and Cpl. Abdal Asula were conducting intelligence and monitoring operations against two suspected suicide bombers when they were gunned down by nine police officers in Jolo, Sulu. (PNA)