By Edwin Fernandez

NEUTRALIZED. The companions of a wanted Moro Islamic Liberation Front commander lay face down as government forces process their arrest during a law enforcement operation in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao del Norte, on Monday afternoon (May 13, 2024). Inset are the rifle and bandolier of Moro Islamic Liberation Front member Musa Alamada, who managed to escape during the operation. (Photo courtesy of CIDG-BARMM)

SULTAN KUDARAT, Maguindanao Norte – A commander of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) wanted for kidnapping and arson charges eluded arrest, but 10 of his followers were arrested during a police operation in Barangay Macaguiling here Monday afternoon.

Lt. Colonel Ariel Huesca, regional head of the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (CIDG-BAR), said Musa Alamada, alias “Commander Paradise,” managed to get away by snatching a child he used as a human shield.

Authorities arrested 10 of Alamada’s companions, who yielded high-powered firearms, during the 5 p.m. operation.

“He used the child as cover as he fled toward the rear portion of a mosque,” Huesca said in a radio interview, referring to the rogue MILF commander who has pending arrest warrants for kidnapping, serious illegal detention, and destructive arson.

Alamada, the subject of an ongoing manhunt, carries a PHP1.2 million reward on his head. (PNA)