SINGAPOREAN terrorist Manobo (left), also known as Muawiyah, is one of the top three militants linked to Jemaah Islamiah (JI) being hunted in the Phi-lippines, said security expert Rommel Banlaoi on Tuesday. In his address to the National Security Seminar, he said the bombmaker works closely with the more dangerous of the other wanted militants - Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan - and the Abu Sayyaf group.

The third JI-linked militant on this list is Umar Patek, who worked in partnership with slain JI leader Dulmatin. It was not made clear if Muawiyah worked with Patek as well.

Professor Banlaoi heads the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research in Quezon City and published his book Philippine Security In The Age Of Terror last year.

He said Muawiyah, who is believed to be between 45 and 50 years old, assists Abu Sayyaf members in making bombs and training young recruits.

Muawiyah reportedly left Singapore a few years before the Sept 11, 2001 attacks in the United States and the subsequent discovery of JI cells in Singapore and elsewhere. He has been spotted in Sulu, Basilan, Maguindanao and Cotabato city in the Philippines, Prof Banlaoi told The Straits Times.

He said the Philippine government has announced a reward of US$50,000 (S$64,000) for Muawiyah's capture. For Marwan's arrest, the reward is US$5 million, and for Patek's arrest, it is US$1 million.

S'porean on wanted list