DAVAO CITY—The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter denied on Sunday that it has a gun keeper in their group as claimed earlier by police authorities.

On January 30, five days after the Mamasapano clash, the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) served a warrant of arrest Friday to Sadad Salik Akob at his house in Barangay Tanuel, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

Authorities claimed that Akob is a former member of the BIFF as high powered firearms and ammunition were seized from him.

“We don’t have a gun keeper and we have nothing to do with him [Sadad Salik Akob],” said Abu Misry Mama, BIFF spokesman.

As this developed, Davao Today learned that Akob, 52, was a former village official of Barangay Tanuel who broke away as a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front since 2002.

Mama, in reaction to the claim, said the “authorities made it up” to pin down the BIFF in the Mamasapano issue.

In a television report, ARMM CIDG chief Police Supt. Cholijun Caduyac maintained that Akob served as a gun keeper of the BIFF, saying “he served as the BIFF’s arms repository.”

Seized from Akob’s possession were M-79 grenade launcher, Barret 50 cal. sniper rifle, M2 Carbine, .45 cal. pistol, and a 380 rifle grenade.

As of press time, Akob is in CIDG’s custody.

Meanwhile the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) of the armed forces clarified that the bomb threats circulating through text message over the weekend was a “hoax”.

The Eastmincom said “the text circulating about bomb threats in Mindanao are meant to cause undue panic and scare to the public.”

The text message claimed that Moro rebel groups will “kidnap, kill and behead Christians—women, children, men—since the Bangsamoro Basic Law has collapsed already.”

The said text message has prompted authorities in Davao del Norte to implement a heightened alert in its area of responsibility.

On Sunday, Davao del Norte Provincial Police Office Director Samuel Gadingan urged the public “to remain calm but vigilant”.

“The public should verify the facts first before coordinating to our proper authorities before taking any move that may comprise their safety and security,” said Gadingan.

Gadingan said the heightened alert is being implemented to secure the safety of the public and thwart any possible terroristic acts in the province.” (davaotoday.com)

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