Two Abu Sayyaf Group members surrendered to the military troops in Sulu Thursday afternoon, February 3. They were subsequently presented to Brig. Gen. Banjamin Batara, Jr., Commander of 1103rd Infantry Brigade at the unit’s headquarters in Barangay Bonbon, Patikul, Sulu.
According to Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr., Commander of Western Mindanao Command, the surrendered personalities are father and son. Their identities are withheld for security reasons. They handed over two M1 Garand rifles.
“They were followers of the late ASG sub-leader Amah Maas under the late Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan,” the commander said.
Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, Commander of Joint Task Force Sulu said the surrendered personalities will be automatically enrolled in the Localized Social Integration Program of the provincial government of Sulu.
“We will also provide them with all the needed assistance as they start to live a peaceful life with their loved ones,” Maj. Gen. Gonzales assured.
During the first month of 2022, Joint Task Force Sulu has reported a total of 14 surrenders and 11 firearms gains. It can be recalled that last January 26, nine Abu Sayyaf Group members formally surrendered to the 45th Infantry Battalion. Brig. Gen. Batara personally received the surrendered personalities at the 1103rd Infantry Brigade headquarters.
Brig. Gen. Batara expressed his admiration for the former violent extremists who chose to abandon their armed struggle and joined in the government’s quest to end terrorism and win genuine peace and development in the municipality of Patikul and the province of Sulu as a whole.
The 1103rd Infantry Brigade together with the local government of Patikul provided food and financial assistance to the surrendered personalities. They are also scheduled for medical check-ups and debriefing.
“The manpower and capability of the Abu Sayyaf Group are totally degraded hence its remaining members compel to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law. Rest assured that your armed forces will continue to bolster our operations to sustain the momentum,” Lt. Gen. Rosario, Jr. further stated.