A female high-ranking police officer suspected of attempting to rescue Abu Sayyaf Group stragglers in Bohol was taken into police custody Saturday night amid a firefight between military troops and at least four ASG bandits in Clarin town, a police source said.
According to a police intelligence officer who spoke in condition of anonymity, the woman is a police superintendent who was later on identified as Maria Christina Nobleza, deputy chief of the Police Regional Office 11 Crime Lab.
The policewoman who was with driver Reenor Lou Dungon and two other passengers was flagged down by Philippine Army troops at a checkpoint near the Clarin-Sagbayan border while on board a Nissan Navara with plate number FGN-270, the source said.
They reportedly traveled from Sagbayan to Clarin where the gun battle which led to the death of four ASG bandits including Inabanga native Joselito Melloria took place.
The police officer and her companion who reportedly spoke in Tausug, a regional language spoken in Sulu, were taken to the Clarin Police Station.
The police source said that a cellphone believed to be of Nobleza contained conversations with one of the three Abu Sayyaf bandits killed at Barangay Caboy, Clarin.
Nobleza reportedly threw away the cellphone but this was recovered by authorities, the source added.
This afternoon, bullets, several sim cards, a first aid kit, food, clothes, energy drinks and other items such as cellphones were found inside the Nissan pickup truck. (Allen Doydora)