MANILA — Philippine National Police (PNP) Officer-in-Charge, Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina on Tuesday said the fight against terrorism will continue even after the death of Filipino bomb maker Basit Usman.
“[The death of Malaysian bomb makers Zulkifli bin Hir, alias Marwan, and Basit Usman] definitely led to a marking of major accomplishments in the fight versus terrorism. However, we’re not going to put our guards down” Espina said in a chance interview at Camp Crame.
He said that there were many other terrorists at large, but PNP was determined “to account for all … especially those who would create havoc”.
According to Espina, PNP is set to catch Jemaah Islamiyah member, Amin Baco, next.
Amin, 31, a Malaysian terrorist and a Jemaah Islamiyah member, is believed hiding with the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu, together with four other militants wanted by Malaysian police. They were reported to have fled to Mindanao following police crackdowns on militant activities in Malaysia.
“Mamasapano is just an operation to reach an objective. All objectives are very noble and for the betterment of general public. We will not stop until highly valued terrorists are all accounted for,” Espina said.
Meanwhile, PNP awaits submission of more evidence needed to determine Usman’s DNA.
“PNP Crime Laboratory and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) personnel in the field are busy collating all pieces of evidence that are relevant to the determination of the DNA” said Espina.
The PNP-OIC also said that the PNP would request proximate relatives, like parents” to cross-match with the DNA of Usman.
Usman, who was killed last May 3 in a Moro Islamic Liberation Front-controlled area.
Usman were among the targets of the bungled operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao with Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli Bin Hir or “Marwan,” who was killed in the Jan. 25 mission. The police operation, however, cost the lives of 44 Special Action Force troopers, 16 Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters and three civilians.