THE Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) on Sunday, May 28, announced that seven Abu Sayyaf bandits have surrendered in separate areas bringing to 64 the total number of bandits who surrendered since January 2017.

Four of the seven surrendered on Saturday, May 27, to the Joint Task Force Basilan while the other three last week to the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi.

Those who surrendered in Basilan province were identified as follows: Usman Mussa alias Akkus, Balie Kasaran alias Balie, Sadar Tutuh Kasaran alais Sadan, and Sarwin Askalin Kasaran alias Win, all residents of Al Barka, Basilan.

They turned over two M-16 Armalite rifles and one caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle.

Joint Task Force Basilan Commander Juvymas Uy said the four were followers of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Nurhassan Jamiri.

He said the group surrendered to the troops of the Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion based at Sitio Camalig in the village of Bohe Pahu, Ungkaya Pukan, Basilan.

He said they decided to surrender for fear of the lives after learning that two Abu Sayyaf sub leaders were killed in just a span of one month.

Those who surrendered last week in Tawi-Tawi were identified as Angki Haradja, Nickson Abdulmari Jaili, and Asil Sainudding. They were followers of the late sub-leader Aljine Mundok alias Ninok Sappari.

Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi Commander Custodio Parcon said they surrendered to the troops in the village of Sanga-Sanga, Bongao town.

Parcon said they also yielded a caliber 30 M1 Garand rifle and an M-14 rifle. (SunStar Philippines)