Google map of Mapun island municipality, Tawi-Tawi province.

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Police operatives have arrested one of the nation's most wanted fugitive in an intensified anti-criminality operation in Tawi-Tawi province, a top police official said Wednesday.

Brig. Gen. Romeo Caramat Jr., Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) director, said Faisal Kasim Isnain was arrested by a team of CIDG operatives from Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (BaSulTa) and Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Field Units and local policemen around 4:21 p.m. Saturday in Barangay Lupa Pula in the island town of Mapun, Tawi-Tawi.

Isnain is tagged as "national level most wanted person" by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Caramat said Isnain was arrested by virtue of warrant of arrest for rape and murder issued by a regional court in Ipil town, Zamboanga Sibugay, in 2018. No bail has been recommended.

Isnain is also an alleged a member of the Barahama Ali Group, which is engaged in various crimes including kidnapping, robbery, drug trafficking and car theft.

“The court first issued a warrant for his arrest on June 16, 2005, ngunit sa kadahilanang nagtatago yung akusado kaya hindi naiserve ang warrant. (but because the accused was in hiding, the warrant was not served). Then it was reissued under the said alias warrant na siya namang ginamit para madakip itong si Isnain (which was used to capture Isnain),” Caramat said.

Investigation revealed that Isnain, who is from Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, fled to the island town of Mapun after committing the crime.

Police record showed that in May 2005, Isnain and two others allegedly shot and killed Geron Labian in Ipil. They then raped Labian’s 17-year-old companion.

General Rodolfo Azurin Jr., Philippine National Police chief, lauded the CIDG units and local police, saying their anti-criminality operations reflects a dedication in ensuring that perpetrators face justice.

“I want to express my sincerest congratulations to our PNP team, particularly CIDG operating units led by Gen. Romeo M Caramat Jr., CIDG Director on the successful capture of the topmost-wanted criminal. Your bravery and determination in finding this dangerous person is a source of motivation for us all. This triumph demonstrates the PNP's strong resolve to bring all criminals to justice,” Azurin said. (PNA)