On July 19, 2021, five members of the Abu Sayyaf Group led by the late Isnilon Hapilon surrendered to the military in Lamitan City, Basilan, according to Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr.
As per the WesMinCom commander, the militants turned themselves in at the 68th Infantry Battalion Headquarters in Campo Uno of the same city at about 11:30 a.m. Monday.
According to Lt. Col. Napoleon Pabon, Jr., Acting Battalion Commander of 68IB, the five were identified as a.k.a. Nori, 32 years old, and a resident of Barangay Lower Sinangkapan, Tuburan town; a.k.a. Ansar, 44, from Barangay Upper Sinangkapan, Akbar town; a.k.a. Dam, 44, also from Upper Sinangkapan; a.k.a. Miyo, 42, from Sitio Upper Bato-Bato, Akbar; and a.k.a. Sharim, 30, from Barangay Kulay Bato, Lamitan City.
Subject personalities and their surrendered firearms which include four M1 Garand rifles and one KG9 semi-automatic pistol along with one magazine and five cartridge 9mm ammunition, were subsequently presented to Joint Task Force Basilan Commander, Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway during his visit to the 68IB on the same day.
Brig. Gen. Gobway said JTF Basilan together with the provincial and local government officials of Basilan will assist the former violent extremists in their reintegration into mainstream society.
Since January 2021, JTF Basilan has welcomed a total of 21 ASG personalities who chose to abandon their armed struggle. Of the 21, 18 were regular members and 3 were supporters of the group.
“We are optimistic that those bandits who are still hiding will soon come out and avail of the programs and projects that the government offers,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr.