• 4 ASG bandits were killed in a clash with MNLF in Sulu
  • The clash occurred while the MNLF were trying to retrieve 7 Indonesian hostages held by the bandits
  • One of the slain bandits was identified as Jennor Lahab alias “Kumander Jim Dragon”

Four Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed in a clash with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Sulu on Tuesday, August 9. A military spokesman said the clash occurred around 7 a.m. in the village of Tanjung in Kalinggalan Caluang town.

Major Filemon Tan of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Western Mindanao Command said the clash between the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) under sub-commander Alhabsy Misaya and the MNLF fighters led by Taib Sahibad, Alih Julkipli and Abraham Joel occurred while negotiations for the release of 7 Indonesian hostages still being held by the ASG are ongoing.

MNLF facilitated the release last April of 10 Indonesian sailors. Another batch of four Indonesians was also freed with the help of the MNLF, as per a Philstar article dated August 9, 2016.

Major Tan identified one of the slain ASG bandits as Jennorr Lahab alias “Kumander Jim Dragon” while the other three bandits’ identities were not confirmed, although Tan said one of them was Lahab’s son. The bodies of the slain bandits were brought to the Barangay Masjid Punjungan, Kalinggalang Caluang and will be turned over to the local government for proper disposition.

The MNLF’s operations against the Abu Sayyaf are not sanctioned by the military, Major Tan said, but it welcomes any assistance in maintaining peace and order in the province.

“Intelligence reports say there is an effort by the MNLF to help destroy the Abu Sayyaf bandits because they caused chaos in the community. Anybody can help bring justice to those they have victimized,” Tan said.