THE number of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) surrenderers since January has increased to 27 as a Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf spotter yielded in Tawi-Tawi, military officials announced.
Lieutenant General Corleto Vinluan, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command, identified the latest Abu Sayyaf surrenderer as Albaser Abduraji alias Abu Bas, 31, a resident of Magsaggaw village in Panglima town Sugala, Tawi-Tawi.
Vinluan said Abduraji yielded a US caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle with ammunition when he surrendered around 2 p.m. Monday to the troops of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-12 (MBLT-12) in Nalil village, Bongao, the capital town of Tawi-Tawi.
He said the surrender of Abduraji manifest that “our troops continue to gain grounds in the campaign against terrorism in our area of operation.”
Lieutenant Colonel Henry Espinosa, MBLT-12 commander, said Abduraji was recruited by Sulu-based late ASG sub-leader Mihadun Arok sometime in 2007.
Espinosa said Abduraji was involved in several kidnappings where he served as a spotter.
He said Abduraji left the ASG in 2014 after the latter participated in armed confrontations with the marine troops in Patikul, Sulu.
He said Abduraji then laid low in Panglima Sugala after prominent Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed in Sulu.
Brigadier General Arturo Rojas of Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi encouraged other Abu Sayyaf bandits to surrender and “join us in working for a peaceful and progressive Tawi-Tawi.”
“Abduraji” is the 27th ASG member who surrendered to the government since January 2021 and the first to surrender in Tawi-Tawi. (SunStar Zamboanga)