Police arrest ‘terrorist’ in Cebu City

POLICE intelligence operatives caught a suspected terrorist who became a rice trader in Barangay Tinago, Cebu City on Tuesday morning, Feb. 4, 2020.

Suspect Jimmy Igpit Marababol was tagged by authorities as a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group, which has links to radical Islamist group Daulah Islamiyah.

He has pending kidnapping and serious illegal detention cases before the sala of Judge Anthony T. Isaw of the Regional Trial Court Branch 9 in Liloy, Zamboanga del Norte

The basis of the arrest was the warrant of arrest issued by Isaw.

Marababol refused to issue a statement to reporters, saying he would let his lawyer do the talking.

When asked if he was an Abu Sayyaf member, Marababol just shook his head.

Marababol allegedly led the group of eight men who abducted the son of Labason, Zamboanga del Norte Mayor Eddie Quimbo in the market of Barangay Antonio, Labason on Sept. 6, 2017.

Quimbo’s son escaped his captors a few days later, according to Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Valeriano de Leon.

Marababol then fled Zamboanga del Norte, and he tried to live a new life in a barangay in Mandaue City, Cebu by selling rice in the past two years.

Confident that he would not be located by authorities, he later sourced his supply of rice from Mindanao.

After the intelligence group received information on Marababol’s presence in Mandaue City, its operatives started to monitor him.

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, intelligence operatives caught him on M.J. Cuenco Ave. in Tinago while he was transacting for 3,000 sacks of rice.

P/Lt. Col. Arturo Braul, intelligence group chief, said Marababol had been arrested for illegal possession of firearms and posted bail before he was tagged in the kidnapping case involving Mayor Quimbo’s son.

Aside from selling rice, the suspect was also involved in trading charcoal.

The PRO 7 is conducting an inquiry to identify Marababol’s possible contacts and cohorts in Cebu, said de Leon.

Despite Marababol’s arrest, de Leon assured the public that Cebu and the other places of Central Visayas are still safe, saying that “everything is under control.”

From April 11-May 15, 2017, government forces engaged Abu Sayyaf members in a series of clashes in Inabanga, Bohol, a province in Central Visayas. Authorities said the terrorists had planned to kidnap foreign nationals in the region. (AYB, FMD & GPL / KAL)