ZAMBOANGA CITY — Eight Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits have surrendered to military authorities over the weekend as tactical offensives continue against the group in the province of Sulu, military officials said.
Brig. Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo Jr., Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said one of the eight surrendered around 2 p.m. Saturday to the Army’s 1101st Infantry Brigade.
Pabayo said the ASG surrenderer, Misal Abdulwahid, 33, turned over an M-16 Armalite rifle to Col. Antonio Nafarete, 1101st Infantry Brigade commander.
Abdulwahid is a follower of ASG sub-leader Idang Susukan, the Army official said.
The seven other ASG members who surrendered on Sunday, also to Nafarete, were identified as Araham Abdul, Delson Abdul, Jenyor Daihan Madjid, Wilson Tatting Asid, Jasim Uppih Umair, Nurhajir Amirol Patta, and Adsjar Hassan Sabdani.
Pabayo said the seven surrenderers were former followers of ASG sub-leaders Alhabsy Misaya, Sibih Pisih, and Apoh Mike. They turned over five Garand rifles, one M-16 Armalite rifle, and a .45-caliber pistol.
Pabayo said the surrender came amid operations being conducted by troops to pursue the ASG in Sulu.
The ASG surrenderers were brought to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Hospital in Barangay Bus-bus, Jolo, for medical checkup. They will undergo a custodial debriefing to be facilitated by the Joint Task Force Sulu, military officials said.
Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command chief, vowed that the troops will continue their offensives against Abu Sayyaf bandits, aimed at neutralizing the terrorist group and rescuing the remaining captives.
The ASG bandits are still holding captives close to 10 people, including foreigners.
“With our sustained offensives, we anticipate that more Abu Sayyaf bandits will heed the clamor for them to give up, rebuild their hopes, and work for peace with every Suluanons,” he added. (PNA)