Police arrest alleged Abu Sayyaf member in Cebu

Ryan Macasero

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Police arrest alleged Abu Sayyaf member in Cebu
According to Central Visayas police, the suspected Abu Sayyaf member has been working as a rice trader in Cebu for the past year

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Philippine National Police officers arrested alleged Abu Sayyaf member Jimmy Igpit Marababol on Tuesday afternoon, February 4.

Brigadier General Valeriano de Leon, the police director of Central Visayas, said the suspect was from Labason town, Zamboanga del Norte.

“He pledged allegiance in 2018 with Dualah Islamiyah (the Maute or Islamic State),” De Leon told reporters during a press conference.

De Leon said Marababol had been living in Mandaue City for the past year and working as a rice dealer.

While he allegedly pledged loyalty to the international terror group in 2018, the charges he was arrested for stem from an alleged kidnapping incident in 2017.

Central Visayas police said Marababol was one of 6 suspects in the kidnapping of Jade Quimbo, the son of Labason, Zamboanga del Norte Mayor Eddie Quimbo.

In September 2017, the younger Quimbo was abducted by 6 men who dragged him into a van and took off. (READ: Son of Zamboanga del Norte mayor abducted)

According to police, he was released in December 2018, after the family paid P23 million to Idang Susukan, an Abu Sayyaf subleader who was killed in 2019

De Leon said, however, that they are still verifying if Marababol is still active in the terror group.

Police regional intelligence division officials said police had been monitoring Marababol in Cebu.

He was arrested along the busy MJ Cuenco Avenue, near downtown Cebu. De Leon said that Cebu City is safe, despite the arrest of the suspect.

“Everything is under control, we are safe in the region,” De Leon said.

This is not the first time there were reports of the terror group’s activities in Central Visayas. In April 2017, an armed clash broke out in Inabanga, Bohol, between government troops and alleged members of the Abu Sayyaf group. – Rappler.com

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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at ryan.macasero@rappler.com