By JOEY NACALABAN
AUTHORITIES arrested two nurses at a checkpoint in Barangay Tablon here on Wednesday on suspicion that they have come to aid members of the Isis-inspired Maute Group in Lanao.
Camp Alagar, in a press statement, identified the suspects as Eyadzhemar Abusalam, 26, and Dianne Catherine Palmitos, 25.
The latter, alleged the police, is an “Isis supporter” and “facilitator.”
The suspects, both nurses by profession and believed to be a couple, are from Gen. Santos City.
Supt. Mardy Hortillosa, spokesman of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo), said the suspects were in a public bus from Davao City when they were caught on the highway in Barangay Tablon by authorities manning a checkpoint at around 6 pm.
During inspection, the suspects allegedly yielded two MK2 fragmentation grenades and a caliber .45 pistol.
Police said Abusalam and Palmitos had allegedly plotted to carry out an attack during the annual feast of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila in January. Cagayan de Oro has been marking the same annual feast with a procession.
Police also claimed the the two were also suspected to be sending medical supplies to remnants of the Maute Group.
Camp Alagar said the suspects were brought to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Camp Evangelista for detention and they would be charged with illegal possession of firearm and explosives before the City Prosecutor’s Office.
According to the police, the arrest of Abusalam and Palmitos was a result of the collaboration of the CIDG, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Nica), Camp Alagar’s Regional Intelligence Unit, 4th Military Intelligence Group, and Cocpo’s City Intelligence Unit.