TWO sub-leaders of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) along with nine followers involved in cross-border kidnappings have surrendered to the government forces in Tawi-Tawi.

Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) information officer, said the group surrendered to the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi around 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, at Marine Barracks Domingo Deluana in the village of Sanga-Sanga, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.

The ASG sub-leaders who surrendered were identified as Berong Sariol alias boy Master and Ben Saudi Dambong Sariol alias Boy Pangit.

Their nine followers were identified as Jasim Dambong alias Dams, Mujil Dambong, Magelan Langal, Kael Sariol, Nurhamin Sariol, Alhan Sariol, Amnisain Sariol, Akmad Sariol and Benasil Sariol.

Petinglay said they turned over high-powered firearms that consist of one M-16 Armalite rifle with attached M-203 grenade launcher, one M-14 rifle, one M-79 grenade launcher and four caliber .30 M1 Garand rifles.

She said the surrender of the group of the Sariols was a result of the strong collaboration of the task force, local government units, and other law enforcement agencies in the fight against the ASG in Tawi-Tawi.

The information officer said the group of the Sariols were involved in cross-border kidnappings and hijackings.

The Sariols were arrested in May 2009 in Bongao, Tawi Tawi. However, they were released in Zamboanga City due to the absence of a warrant of arrest.

The Wesmincom said the group of Sariol was involved in the beheading of Father Reynaldo Roda of the Oblates of Marry Immaculate in Tabawan, South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi, abduction of Mayor Hadji Kuyoh Pajiji of Sibuto, Tawi-Tawi, abduction of Marcy Dayawan, a Filipino and Gao Hua Yun, a Chinese at the Singamata Resort, Sampurnah, Sabah and the abduction of Chulhong Park and Glen Alendajao in Barangay Baldatal, Sapa-Sapa, Tawi-Tawi on October 23, 2016.

Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., Wesmincom chief, said the Sariol group is wanted in Sabah for various piracy and kidnapping offenses.

Galvez said they were turned over to the police for the proper legal procedures.

“We sincerely welcome these Abu Sayyaf members, who have returned to the folds of the law, and encourage the other bandits to join the government and the peace-loving Filipinos in sustaining the peace in Mindanao without the use of arms,” Galvez said. (SunStar Philippines)