SEVEN more Abu Sayyaf bandits have surrendered to the government forces bringing a total to 47 bandit-surrenderees as the troops’ all-out offensive continues against them, a top military official announced Wednesday.
Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom), identified the Abu Sayyaf surrenderees as follows: Aminula Sakili, Saharijan Sakili, Haydel Sahidul, Sattar Sadjal, Orik Samsuraji, Princibal Abdan, and Annu Asaraji alias Anwar.
Galvez said they are followers of Abu Sayyaf sub-leaders Sansibar Bensio and Tomas Idjas, who belongs to the group of the last bandit leader Alhabsy Misaya.
Galvez said they surrendered around 12:35 p.m., Monday, to the Marine troops under the Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS) at Sitio Kanjawali in the village of Tandu Bato, Luuk, Sulu.
Galvez said the bandit-surrenderees turned over five firearms consisting of an M-16 Armalite rifle, M-14 rifle, a caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle, a caliber .38 pistol, and a caliber .45 pistol.
He said they were made to undergo a ceremony wherein they pledged to the Qu'ran that “they would no longer involve themselves in any act of terrorism and lawlessness.”
He said initial information taken from them indicates that they surrendered for fear the government will suddenly be at their door steps.
“They said, they no longer feel safe after Misaya was killed and some of their fellow Abu Sayyaf have surrendered,” he added.
Misaya was killed in a clash with government forces on April 29 in the village of Silangkan, Indanan, Sulu.
Of the total Abu Sayyaf surrenderees, 25 of them are from Basilan, 11 from Sulu and the remaining 11 from the province of Tawi-Tawi.
“The combat operations are continuously being launched by our ground troops to put more pressure on the Abu Sayyaf,” Galvez said.
“Again, we reiterate our call for the remaining Abu Sayyaf bandits to surrender. It will be a matter of time before the soldiers will get you. Decide to do the right thing now before it is too late,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)