An alleged former member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and two of his companions were killed while five others, including three policemen, were wounded in an armed confrontation in Tawi-Tawi on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

The slain ASG member was identified as alias “Hasim,” who was facing charges for 17 counts of murder and four counts of frustrated murder.

Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) were supposed to serve arrest warrants issued by a court in Sulu against alias “Hasim” when the latter and his companions allegedly resisted and fought back.

The exchange of fire resulted in the death of alias “Hasim” and two of his companions. Three policemen and two other suspects were also wounded.

Authorities recovered several high-powered guns, ammunition, sachets of suspected shabu, and personal belongings of the suspects.

CIDG said alias “Hasim” was a former ASG member under the late ASG sub-leader Idang Susukan. He was allegedly involved in kidnapping, attacks on government forces, and other terrorist activities, including the ambush in Talipao, Sulu that killed 23 civilians and wounded 14 others last July 28, 2013.

Since 2021, alias “Hasim” reportedly shifted to illegal drug operations with his supplies coming from Malaysia and collaborated with other ASG members in the trade.

CIDG added that alias Hasim’s associate in the drug trade, alias “Milikan,” and three others were killed in a police operation last April 12, 2024.

“I applaud our detectives for their rapid and decisive action, which culminated in a highly successful operation. Kahit gaano pa kayo katagal magtago at makaiwas sa pag-aresto, ang aking mga operatiba ay laging nakabantay hanggang sa kayo ay mabilanggo at makamit ang hustisya para sa inyong mga biktima. Patuloy na magsusumikap ang CIDG na hanapin ang katotohanan at papanagutin ang mga lumalabag sa batas, lalo na ang mga grupong kriminal na sumisira sa kapayapaan ng ating bansa,” CIDG Director, Major General Leo Francisco, said.