A SUB-LEADER of the Maute Terror Group surrendered to military authorities in Lanao del Sur province, officials said Wednesday, February 20.
Lieutenant Colonel Edgar Allan Villanueva, Army’s 49th Infantry Battalion commander, identified the Maute sub-leader surrenderer as Aloyodan Bantak alias Ibrahim Bantak, whose surrender was facilitated by the local government of Lumba Bayabao, Lanao del Sur.
Villanueva said Bantak, who turned over a sniper rifle, grenade launchers and ammunition, surrendered to them around 10 a.m. Tuesday in the municipality of Lumba Bayabao.
“Bantak is involved in the November 2016 Butig Siege. He is the recruiter of the Abu Dar group,” Villanueva said.
Abu Dar, whose name is Owaida Marohombsar, serves as the new leader of the Maute group remnants.
Bantak surrendered a day after three Maute group members surrendered to Villanueva in Sultan Dumalondong, Lanao del Sur.
Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, Joint Task Force ZamPeLan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao provinces) commander, commended the efforts of the troops and officials of Lumba Bayabao town.
Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command chief, said the series of capitulations is a welcoming development on the current thrust of the armed forces to purge Western and Central Mindanao of insurgency.
“With the extension of martial law in Mindanao, internal security operations will be strengthened and consultations with those at stake will be initiated to address decades-long insurgency in the area,” Dela Vega said.
“While we maintain our stance, we gladly welcome those who wish to lay down their arms and return to the fold of the law,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)