Suspended Police Supt. Maria Cristina Nobleza and lover Reenor Lou Dungo, the alleged Abu Sayyaf bomber who tried to rescue the 6 remaining terrorists before they got killed in the province are not enjoying their liberty while formal charges were already filed against them.
A highly placed source denied reports that the duo was released from detention and are now scot-free.
Nobleza and Dungo are both detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City, according to the source who requested not to be identified.
They are considered high-risk detainees, thus tight security is provided for both 24/7.
The informant from Camp Crame told the Chronicle that both were supposed to be flown to the city last Monday in time for their scheduled arraignment at the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office at the Hall of Justice. They were supposed to be transported from the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame to the airport to board an Air Asia flight to the city.
However, the scheduled arraignment was moved to a later date either late this month or in the second week of June.
Security measures were already in place should the couple arrived last Monday to appear in court.
The two are considered “high risk” detainees thus maximum security was being readied at the Tagbilaran City Airport to the Hall of Justice. They were scheduled to be boarded back on a commercial afternoon flight to Manila on the same day.
Police Senior Insp. Jojit Mananquil, chief of the BPPO’s Provincial Intelligence Branch confirmed to the Chronicle last night the security measures being readied last Monday. He assured that security in key areas where the duo will pass will be doubled to ensure they could not escape.
The police official noted that they are not discounting the possibility of a rescue attempt for the couple.
Dungo and Nobleza were arrested at a security checkpoint in Brgy. Bacani, Clarin on April 22 while a gun battle between Abu Sayyaf bandits and government troops was ongoing in the said village.
Both, together with an elderly woman attempted to rescue Abu Sayyaf survivors of the initial clash in Inabanga on April 11.
Two days after their arrest, police allegedly found bomb parts inside their rented apartment in Panglao. The over month-long stay of Abu Sayyaf fighters in Bohol ended on May 15 after the last two remnants of the 11-member band of militants which entered the province were gunned down by government security forces.
A C-4 plastic explosive was found from the apartment rented by the supposedly Abu Sayyaf rescue team who got cornered by operatives in a checkpoint in Clarin town.
In a check made by the Chronicle, it was confirmed that the apartment in barangay Looc, Panglao town was booked under the name of Police Superintendent Maria Cristina Nobleza since last April 17.
Police confirmed in their inventory the seized items which included a C-4 explosive, a detonating cord, a blasting cap and a blasting cap kit. The plastic explosive was recovered from one of the baggage owned by Nobleza’s group left at the apartment which was searched by operatives right after they left the apartment.
The regional police said Nobleza and her alleged boyfriend suspected Abu Sayyaf bomber Reenor Lou Dungo, and two others rented the apartment before they were arrested in Clarin town on the same night when four Abu Sayyaf members were killed in an encounter in barangay Bacani, Clarin town.
Nobleza and Dungo rented the apartment last April 17, six days after a joint police and military teams killed six Abu Sayyaf members, including bandit leader Muammar Askali, in clashes in Inabanga.
The couple was arrested after driving past a police checkpoint in Barangay Bacani driving their Nissan Navara with plate number FGN 270 registered under the name of Nobleza in Camp Crame as address.
It may be recalled that Nobleza was arrested together with bomb expert Reenor Lou Dungo alias Kudre, his mother Judith Dungo, and a teenager.
Police said that text messages in the policewoman’s phone indicate that she and Dungo went to Bohol to rescue the remaining Abu Sayyaf members before they all got killed by the continuing search by military troops based in the province.
Police said Nobleza threw her cellphone while being arrested. The cellphone allegedly had a record of a text message from an Abu Sayyaf member asking for rescue.
Also seized from their vehicle were food supplies, a first aid kit, drinks, several clothes and a snorkeling gear.
Authorities, meanwhile, said that Dungo was a brother-in-law of slain Abu Sayyaf leader and founder Abdurajik Abubakar Janjalani.
Dungo also has a pending warrant of arrest issued by Judge Vincent Morales of the Cagayan de Oro City Regional Trial Court for his alleged involvement in a hotel bombing in the city, which left two persons dead.
Various firearms, ammunition, and improvised explosive device components were also seized the day after their arrest in a house in Malaybalay, Bukidnon believed to be owned by Supt.Nobleza.
An initial report from Region 10 police showed they conducted Oplan Paglalansag Omega at a house in Pine Hills Executive Homes, Purok 5, Barangay Casisang, Malaybalay City based on information from their Bohol counterparts against Abu Sayyaf members.
Detectives from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Bukidnon served as the lead unit in the raid, reinforced by elements from the Bukidnon Police, military, and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency. The raid was conducted around 9 p.m.
The raid was based on the search and seizure warrant dated April 24, 2017 issued by Malaybalay Regional Trial Court Branch 9 Executive Judge Ma. Theresa Aban-camannong against Nobleza.
Among the items confiscated were an M16 rifle, seven magazines for M16 rifle, a cal. 45 pistol with one magazine loaded with seven cartridges, 218 cartridges for M16 rifle, and one bandoleer for M16 rifle.
Police also found one yellow timer to be used for improvised explosive device, bomb component/improvised explosive device, one set of soldering iron, 66 non-electric blasting caps, one piece 9 bolts battery, one piece tester, and assorted subversive documents allegedly pertaining terrorist activities.
Inside the house at the time of the raid were Al Mohammar Bayani, 22, and two minors, all of San Juan, Baroy, Lanao del Norte.
The confiscated items were brought to the CIDG office while cases for violation of Republic Act 10591 and RA 9516 against the respondents are being prepared for filing. The minors will be turned over to the City Social Welfare Department, Malaybalay City for proper disposition
Chief Insp. Ryan Panganiban, CIDG-Bukidnon officer-in-charge, said they learned about the house from their counterparts in Bohol who interrogated Nobleza.
RELIEIVED FROM POST
The day after their arrest, PNP Chief Supt. Bato ordered the immediate transfer of Nobleza and Dungo to higher headquarters in Manila for safekeeping as both are “high risk” personalities.
Upon arrival in Manila, Nobleza was informed that she was relieved from her post as deputy director of the Davao Regional Police Office’s Crime Laboratory following her arrest with an alleged Abu Sayyaf member.
Charges of illegal possession of firearms and harboring criminals have been filed against Nobleza.
PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa revealed that Nobleza and Dongon met when the suspected Abu Sayyaf bomber was detained at the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) following his arrest in Marawi City and transfer to Manila.
Dela Rosa said Nobleza was a PAOCC agent assigned to interview Dungo while he was in detention.
The Crime Laboratory is Nobleza’s mother unit since she entered the PNP in 1996.
She transferred to Task Force Smuggling of the PNP, Anti-Illegal Gambling Special Operations Task Force, and PACER in 2005.
She was appointed as Chief of the Intelligence Operation Division of the Directorate for Intelligence from 2008 to 2011.
In 2012, she returned to the Crime Laboratory and was assigned to the Police Regional Office 5 (Bicol).
She was then transferred to the Intelligence Group, PAOCC, and Office of the chief PNP in 2013.
Nobleza was assigned to the PNP-Anti Illegal Drugs Group in 2016. She was transferred back to the Crime Laboratory in February after the anti-drug unit was abolished.
Dela Rosa said Nobleza, an Islam convert, was married to another member of the PNP, a police attaché assigned in Pakistan.