(Manila, 7:33pm) Lomibao: We captured the wrong SahironWell blow me down! RADULAN SAHIRON is also called "Commander PUTOL," because he is famously a real-life ONE-ARMED bandit, who amazes friends and fellow mujahedeens alike with his expert horsemanship.
The Philippine National Police recanted on Sunday an earlier statement that it had captured in Zamboanga Sibugay a senior commander of the Abu Sayyaf militant group behind the kidnappings of foreign tourists in 2000. PNP spokesman Leopoldo Bataoil said the arrest appeared to be a case of mistaken identity and apologized for the error. Police on Saturday trumpeted the arrest of Radulan Sahiron, prompting President Arroyo to declare that her administration was winning the war on terrorism as well as congratulating officers.
This is really funny and sad at the same time. The President is grasping at any straw and jumping at any chance to look presidential. Things like this are anything but.
UPDATES: There is a picture of various interesting personalities in the current drama here, including Khaddafy Janjalani and the aforementional Radulan Sahiron (though his limbs are hidden).
I can only surmise that this lapse is due to frustration over the failure to capture the really big fish, the genius of the Jemaah Islamiyah, Dulmatin, with a $10 million price on his head for involvement in both Bali Bombings and has been the subject of a furious manhunt in Mindanao for all of the last month, best documented by Bob in Mindanao.
So, who seriously thinks the government is serious about fighting a war on terrorism? Couldn't they at least have counted appendages before making the call to the salivating media about a great victory?
PDI coverage is here including the exquisitely dense characterization by Philippine National Police Chief Director General Arturo Lomibao: It was an "unintentional oversight."
Philippine National Police Chief Director General Arturo Lomibao made the admission on Sunday as he apologized for what he called an "unintentional oversight."Hmmm, I wonder if the doppelganger actually was one-armed too? Naaahhh! It is claimed the man mistaken for Sahiron is a one-armed villager. Did it really have to take 24 hours to discover the wrong ID and the presence of the Chief of the National Police? I wonder if the guys in the field who might have made an honest mistake, will now be charged with "destabilization"?
Lomibao had flown to the southern Philippines to commend his men but realized that the arrested man brought before him was not Sahiron, Agence France-Presse reported.
An unidentified expert on the Abu Sayyaf also told arresting officers that their detained suspect was not the feared militant, known as the one-armed bandit, the wire service said.