Six (6) Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members voluntarily surrendered to the Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu at the Headquarters of the 1103rd Infantry Brigade in Barangay Bonbon, Patikul Sulu on July 11, 2022.
“The ASG returnees brought with them three M1 Garand rifles, one M79 Grenade and one M203 ammunition. The surrendered firearms are now under the custody of the 1103rd Infantry Brigade for proper disposition,” said Maj. Gen. Ignatius N. Patrimonio, Commander of JTF Sulu and 11th Infantry “Alakdan” Division.
In an interview, one of the ASG members narrated that he had been with the terrorist group for almost 11 years. Tired of always being on the run, hiding from the government forces and longing for his family had prompted him to go back to the folds of the law.
According to 1103rd Infantry Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Benjamin G. Batara Jr, the collaborative efforts of the Municipal Task Force in Ending Local Armed Conflict (MTF-ELAC) of Patikul with the military and the community had been able to convinced the ASG members to surrender and avail the government’s program.
Meanwhile, JTF Sulu Commander lauded the commitment of the troops of 6th Special Forces Battalion led by Lt.Col. Rafael Caido, 45th Infantry Battalion led by Lt.Col. Vicente Mabborang Jr. and other military units of their efforts in assisting the ASG members for their surrender.
“Another six ASG members had laid down their arms and realized their useless cause. This is an indicative that the remaining ASG members already knows the authenticity of our genuine concern and relentless efforts to win the peace in the province of Sulu,” said Maj. Gen. Patrimonio.
Let us therefore sustain the gains and maintain the momentum to finally end terrorism and encourage the remaining ASG terrorist to lay down their firearms, be with their families, avail the government’s Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP), and live peacefully. Maj. Gen. Patrimonio concluded.
Since January this year, a total of 75 ASG members voluntarily surrendered to JTF Sulu bringing along with them 47 high-powered firearms and 13 low-powered firearms. — PA