MANILA, Philippines — Intelligence operatives of the police and the military have arrested a suspected sub-leader of the Abu Sayyaf who had allegedly found a new life as an overseas Filipino worker in Saudi Arabia.
Sali Basal Taib, alias Gong-gong Sali and Abu Husni, was among the Abu Sayyaf bandits involved in the Lamitan, Basilan, siege in 2001, Director Francisco Uyami, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said Monday.
Uyami said Taib was arrested by CIDG and Army personnel in Payatas, Quezon City, on July 25 after he brought his son to school.
Taib was facing a string of kidnapping cases in Basilan and carried a P5.3-million reward for his arrest, he added.
“He was able to leave the country using (fake documents) and worked as electrician in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,” Uyami said in a news briefing at Camp Crame.
“Like other Abu Sayyaf bandits, (Taib) left Basilan and lived a normal life. He had just returned to the country for a vacation and to observe Ramadan. Fortunately, we were able to get information about his whereabouts,” he said.
Taib’s arrest was covered by arrest warrants separately issued by Isabela City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 1 Judge Leo Jay Principe and Isabela RTC Branch 2 Judge Danilo Bucoy.
According to Uyami, Taib was one of the heavily-armed bandits who ran over the town of Lamitan and occupied the Don Jose Torres Memorial Hospital in 2001.