GENERAL SANTOS CITY, -- Sarangani officials have raised an additional bounty of P1 million for the arrest of a fugitive leader of a local armed group that had pledged support to international terror group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or ISIS.
Kiamba, Sarangani Mayor Raul Martinez said Tuesday the reward money is aimed at enhancing the continuing manhunt operations against Mohamad Jaafar Maguid alias Tokboy, founder of the Ansar al-Khilafah Philippines group.
The group, which is operating in parts of South Cotabato, Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat provinces, has been blamed over a number of terror attacks in the area these past years.
Authorities tagged Maguid's group as behind the planting of an improvised explosive late Saturday night at a Christmas display in front of the Kiamba municipal hall.
"We've had enough of him already. I hope that the reward money will expedite his arrest," the mayor told reporters.
Martinez said he personally raised the P1 million bounty through donors in Kiamba and the neighboring municipalities of Maasim and Matium.
He said it will be given to anyone who would be able to provide information that will lead to the arrest of Maguid.
The reward money is on top of the standing P200,000 bounty for Maguid that was earlier set by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Martinez said local informants disclosed that Maguid's group was behind the recovered explosive in front of their municipal hall.
The homemade bomb was fashioned from two grenades, an M-203 shell and with an attached cellphone as triggering device.
The mayor said he had been a target of Maguid and had received numerous death threats from him.
Martinez said he received reports that the group had planned to stage an attack at their town plaza on December 25.
Sr. Supt. Joseph Semillano, Sarangani police director, said they also received reports that the group was behind the foiled attack.
"Our investigation is focused on the (Maguid's) group," he said.
Maguid, who bolted from the Sarangani provincial jail in 2010, is facing at least 15 arrest warrants issued by various local courts since 2008.
He is facing multiple counts of murder, attempted murder, frustrated murder, robbery with violence, robbery with homicide, destructive arson and arson, filed at the Regional Trial Court Branches 11 and 38 in Alabel, Sarangani.
Joint operatives seized suspected bomb-making materials at his house in Barangay Daliao in Maasim town in October.
In August, SAF operatives killed three alleged members of the Ansar Al-Khilafah, which had pledged support to the ISIS, in an operation in upper Sitio Lebe in Barangay Daliao.
Recovered at the site were various high-powered firearms and a black flag bearing an ISIS logo.
Source: Philippines News Agency