On 12/20/2005 security forces in the Philippines announced they have captured three people with alleged links to the terror group Abu Sayyaf in Zamboanga City, Southern Philippines.

Officials said one of the men was Pio de Vera, alias Abogne, allegedly the number two of the Rajah Solaiman Movement and an alleged bomb expert, who is wanted by the military and police in connection with the series of Valentine’s Day Bombings that hit the financial districts of Manila, Davao and General Santos cities in the South.  Pio de Vera was also implicated with the Davao Terminal Bombing, in 03/2003.

Pio de Vera was born, on 12/19/1969, in Bagac near Manila in Northern Philippines to a Christian family. He converted to Islam and joined the Rajah-Sulaiman, probably in 1999.  Pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1267 (1999) and successor resolutions, including resolution 1822 (2008), Pio de Vera is under UN Sanctions as a designated international terrorists related to Al Qaeda.

Maj. Gamal Hayudini, a spokesman for the Pilipino Southern Command, said Pio de Vera was arrested along with his wife, Jean Hayag, near a pier in Zamboanga City.  A third suspect, Aujin Marail, a senior member of the Abu Sayyaf was nabbed before sunrise 4 days later in the remote village of Dita by combined military and police forces.  “Civilians tipped off authorities about the presence of Aujin Marail, and from there we have build up intelligence and planned his arrest. It is over now,” Hayudini said. 

He said Aujin Marail was one of 53 inmates who escaped last year at a prison facility in Basilan Island (see – Basilan Jail Break). Aujin Marail was also the prime suspect in masterminding the Dona-Ramona Blast. 


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