SUMISIP, Basilan -- Eleven members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), including a sub-leader and a 12-year-old boy, surrendered to government authorities in this town Monday, October 24.

Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) Chief Mayoralgo dela Cruz and Basilan Governor Hadjiman Hataman-Saliman led the government officials in welcoming the ASG-surrenderees in a ceremony held at the town hall.

The group is led by Moton Indama, 26, a relative of ASG leader Furuji Indama, one of the ASG sub-leaders based in this province.

Indama’s followers were identified as the following: Haimin Jalil, 17; Marham Musana, 18; Sadjara Hadjaraman, 28; Halid Murasimin, 20; Gulam Hajim, 19; Haraward Sahirulla, 20; Basri Laisun, 18; Nasim Baliyung, 21; Ring Langka, 15; and 12-year-old Tari Murasimin.

They turned over high-powered firearms that included a Belgian-made Minimi 5.56 caliber light machinegun, one M-16 Armalite rifle attached with M-203 grenade launcher, a caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle, a shotgun, three caliber .45 pistols, a caliber .38 revolver and several rounds of ammunition.

Indama said they decided to surrender since they were already tired of fighting against the government and they wanted to rejoin the mainstream of the society to live a peaceful life.

The surrender of Indama’s group came days after they sent surrender feelers and signified intention to lay down their arms.

Dela Cruz told the surrenderees that they made the right choice instead of wasting lives, citing President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement “we cannot be killing each other every day.”

Dela Cruz appealed to the ASG brigands to seize the opportunity to have a bright future like the young boy.

He said the Armed Forces of the Philippines is open for the surrender of the other Abu Sayyaf members in Basilan.

Saliman said the Provincial Government and that of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are also open to help in the education of the surrenderees to keep them away from being victims of extremism and wrong beliefs. (PNA)