THE total number of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)-surrenderers climbed to 120 after three more bandits yielded on Friday, October 13, to government authorities in Sulu province, a top military official said.

The surrender came as the government troops continue its offensive against the bandits in the Basilan-Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (BaSulTa) areas.

Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, identified the three surrenderers as Ajimad Musnali, Nanah Amdad Tunggal, and Hasiri Sabirin.

They surrendered around 8:30 a.m. Friday to the Joint Task Force Sulu troops in the village of Bulibangao, Banguingui (formerly Tongkil), Sulu.

Sobejana said the surrenderers are followers of ASG sub-leader Asbi Misuari, who surrendered earlier to the government authorities.

He said they yielded three high-powered firearms consisting of two caliber .30 spring field rifles and a caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle.

He said the surrender was facilitated by the troops of the 545th Engineering Construction Brigade and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Southwestern Mindanao command.

He said they shall undergo custodial debriefing at the headquarters of Joint Task Force Sulu in Camp General Teodulfo Bautista.

Of the 120 ASG members who surrendered since January this year, 65 surrendered in Basilan, 31 in Sulu, 21 in Tawi-Tawi, and two in Zamboanga City.

Meanwhile, another ASG member, identified as Hussing Iril alias Ibba Gani, 38, was arrested on Thursday amid the tight security in Zamboanga City, which is celebrating the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar.

Chief Inspector Helen Galvez, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula information officer, said Iril was arrested in a law enforcement operation by virtue of arrest warrant around 4 p.m. Thursday at the Paseo del Mar in the village of Zone IV, Zamboanga City.

Galvez said the suspect has standing warrant of arrest for the crime of kidnapping and serious illegal detention and penalized under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines as amended by Section 8 of Republic Act No. 7659.

She said the suspect was involved in the June 11, 2001 raid of the Golden Harvest Plantation in the village of Tairan, Lantawan, Basilan province.

The Abu Sayyaf bandits have seized eight plantation workers during the raid.

Five of them were beheaded while the remaining three were either rescued of have escaped during clash between the pursuing troops and fleeing Abu Sayyaf bandits.

Iril denied he is an ASG member, saying he is an ordinary resident of Pasobolong village who sells cigarette to earn a living.