NINE Abu Sayyaf bandits have surrendered amid the conduct of intensified military offensive against them in the province of Sulu, military officials said Wednesday, July 17.
Lieutenant Colonel Gerald Monfort, Army’s 11th Infantry Division information officer, said the nine Abu Sayyaf bandits surrendered Monday to the 2nd Special Force Battalion in Samak village, Talipao, Sulu.
Monfort said they have turned over two M-16 Armalite rifles, five caliber .30 M1 Garand rifles, and two caliber .45 pistols to Brigadier General Antonio Nafarrete, Army’s 1101st Infantry Brigade commander, and Brigadier General Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Joint Task Force Sulu commander.
Monfort said they were immediately taken to Camp General Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Jolo, the capital town of Sulu, for medical check-up and debriefing.
He said the surrenderers said they decided to surrender brought about by the hardships caused by the continuous military offensive against them.
The military official said they also revealed there are several Abu Sayyaf bandits who plan to surrender at any given opportune time.
Vinluan said the full force of the law will relentlessly hunt down all the remaining Abu Sayyaf bandits in the province of Sulu.
“We anticipate that in the coming days, the remaining bandits will opt to lay down their arms and choose to live a peaceful life,” said Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief.
The Westmincom has intensified the conduct of the offensive against the bandits in a bid to rescue the remaining hostages in Sulu.
The hostages include Filipinos and foreigners who were separately seized by the Abu Sayyaf bandits. (SunStar Philippines)