THREE Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits surrendered Thursday afternoon, June 8, for fear of their lives, as military offensive continue against them in Basilan province, the military said.
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Bacala, 4th Special Forces Battalion commander of the Philippine Army, identified the surrenderers as Abdulla Kalitut, 35, Natim Alamin, 25, and Adzmil Alamin, 20.
Bacala said they have turned over an M-16 Armalite, two Garand rifles and several rounds of ammunition. The three bandits are followers of ASG sub-leader Nurhassan Jamiri.
Kalitut has a P600,000 bounty for his arrest and is listed as number four in the group of Jamiri, Bacala said.
He said Kalitut told them they decided to yield to the government forces after experiencing hardship due to sustained military offensive in Basilan province.
"We are always on the run from the military. We do not have decent sleep or food. We are tired. We miss our families. We miss having a normal life," Kalitut said.
Asked on how he was recruited by the group, Kalitut said that he was enticed by the money ASG promised.
“I need to feed my family. Even before I become an ASG member, I find it hard to earn a living outside our municipality since I am immediately discriminated and labeled as a terrorist. My family is starving. I have to feed them. I am left with little choice,” he added.
To date, 71 ASG members have surrendered in Basilan province. (SunStar Philippines)