Headquarters Western Mindanao Command, Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City- The all-out offensives launched by the Joint Task Forces of the Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) compelled twenty-three (23) more members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to lay down their arms and yield to the military in the provinces of Basilan and Sulu within just a span of one (1) week.
As the ground troops continue to pound down and constrict the movements of the terrorist group in Basilan, nineteen Abu Sayyaf members surrendered to the Joint Task Force Basilan under the leadership of Colonel Juvymax Uy today.
Abu Sayyaf sub leaders Nur Hassan Lahaman a.k.a Hassan, and Sub leader Mudz-Ar Angkun a.k.a Mapad Ladjaman with thirteen other followers surrendered to the troops of the 64th Infantry Battalion in Brgy Tumahubong, Sumisip, Basilan Province.
The surrender was made possible through the joint efforts of JTF Basilan, the Basilan Provincial Police Office and the Sumisip LGU headed by Mayor Gulam Hataman.
In a simple turn-over ceremony, the fifteen Abu Sayyaf members also yielded nine (9) high powered firearms that include one (1) cal .50 sniper rifle, one (1) M16 rifle, one (1) M79 40mm grenade launcher, five (5) garand rifles and one (1) Cal .30 springfield rifle.
The group of Mapad operates in the areas of Sumisip while the group of Hassan operates in Tuburan municipality of the said Province.
During the ceremony, Mayor Hataman expressed his gratitude to the continuing support he have received from the Government forces saying,”it is my goal to make Sumisip a peaceful place to live in and this surrender is an indicator that my dream and the dream of the people in Sumisip will soon be achieved.”
Meanwhile, four (4) Abu Sayyaf and Kidnap for Ransom Group members, identified as Patta Salapuddin, a.k.a. Patta, 53 years old, Asbi Salapuddin, a.k.a. Asbi, 32 years old, Sayyadi Salapuddin, a.k.a Saya, 31 years old, and Arci Salapuddin, a.k.a Arc, 20 years old, all residents of Barangay Basakan, Hadji Mohammad Ajul, Basilan, also yielded to the troops of the Joint Task Force Basilan earlier today.
Also surrendered by the Salapuddin group were two M16 rifles and an M79. The Salapuddin brothers are linked to the Abu Sayyaf and KFRG sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya.
They were involved in the recent seajacking of M/V Super Shuttle T/B 1 on March 23, 2017.
All nineteen (19) Abu Sayyaf who surrendered in Basilan are now undergoing processing and debriefing by the Basilan Provincial Police Office.
Just seven days ago, four Abu Sayyaf members also surrendered to the Joint Task Force Sulu under the leadership of Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana in Sulu Province.
Abu Sayyaf bandits Husain Nasirin, 22 years old and a resident of Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul, and Hasir Asara, 24 years old and a resident of Barangay Danag, Patikul, yielded to the troops of the 501st Brigade under Brigadier General Jose C. Faustino, Jr. in Bud Datu, Barangay Tagbak, Indanan at 2pm last April 27, 2017.
Nasirin and Asara, both of whom are identified as followers of sub-leader Hairulla Asbang, are known to be operating in Patikul and Maimbung, both in Sulu.
The Abu Sayyaf members also turned over one (1) M16 rifle and one (1) Garand rifle to the government forces. Nasirin and Asara were turned-over to the Patikul police station for the filing of appropriate charges. On the same day, two Abu Sayyaf members linked to the Kidnap for Ransom Group (KFRG), who were identified as sub-leader Udon Hussiem, a.k.a Udon Hasim, 40 years old, and Haidal Kimar, 25 years old, both of whom are residents of Barangay Jinggan, Panglima Estino, also surrendered to the ground troops.
Hussiem and Kimar also surrendered an M16 and an M14 rifle to the soldiers. Since last week, negotiations are ongoing for the surrender of Udon’s entire group, which is also engaged in kidnap for ransom activities. “The Abu Sayyaf members from Sulu are among the most notorious and among the most difficult to go after; however, this recent accomplishment only proves that the landscape in the area is indeed changing,” said Lieutenant General Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“We expect to be counting and receiving more Abus who will surrender in the upcoming days, as even top leaders of the group are already sending feelers for their possible surrender.
As the highest military commander in this side of the country, I am elated with this development, and I commend our soldiers and those who are helping them to achieve these,” added Lieutenant General Galvez.
Since January this year, a total of forty (40) Abu Sayyaf members (five in Sulu, twenty-four in Basilan, and eleven in Tawi-Tawi) already surrendered to the government forces, with most of them also turning over their firearms and ammunition.
On April 21, two Abu Sayyaf members and kidnap for ransom facilitators, identified as Yusop Mohammad, a.k.a Salip Susung, and Dugasan Mohammad, a.k.a Ugas, both residents of Barangay Dungon, Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi, were neutralized in an operation launched by the ground troops.
Their neutralization was a result of information voluntarily given and provided by most of those who surrender.
“We will continue to pound on the remaining Abu Sayyaf members until we get the last of them. With the solid support and backing we are getting from the Local Government Units, the traditional and religious leaders, from the MILF and the MNLF, we are positive that we will all be successful in this fight against terrorism,” adds LtGen Galvez, Jr.