FIVE members of the Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have surrendered to authorities in Basilan province, the military reported Thursday, September 7, 2023.
The surrender of the five Abu Sayyaf bandits on Wednesday, September 6, was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the 18th Infantry Battalion, the Joint Peace and Security Team, and the provincial government of Basilan.
They were presented to Brigadier General Alvin Luzon, commander of the 101st Infantry Brigade and Joint Task Force (JTF)-Basilan at Camp Luis Biel III in Tabiawan village, Isabela City, the capital of Basilan province.
Luzon identified the five Abu Sayyaf surrenderers as the following: Ammeng Lakibul Ahamsirul, 61; Musaifil Alamsirul, 23; Rajim Arakani Barahim, 28; Arman Kahaki Misa, 24; and, Jajilun Aranan Hussin.
“They are all followers of Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Pasil Bayali,” Luzon said in a text message on Thursday, September 7.
He said the Abu Sayyaf surrenderers have turned over five high-powered firearms including two M-16 Armalite rifles, one Garand rifle, one 40-millimeter grenade launcher, and one AR-15 rifle.
Luzon underscored the surrender of the five Abu Sayyaf bandits as a result of the relentless pressure brought about by the sustained military offensive and the effective resource control that continuously denied financial support from their supporters.
“We are optimistic that the remaining ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) personalities who are still hiding will soon come out and avail themselves of the programs of the government for them to rejoin the mainstream of the society,” Luzon said.
He said the five Abu Sayyaf surrenderers will be enrolled in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-Clip) of the National Government, which administers cash assistance and livelihood packages for their transformation from a belligerent mentality into productive members of the community.
He said the latest Abu Sayyaf surrender brought to 358 the total number of terrorists who have returned to the folds of the law in Basilan since 2016.
Basilan Governor Jim Hataman-Salliman has commended the JTF Basilan for its continued efforts that resulted in the surrender of Abu Sayyaf members even though he was hopeful that the island province will in the near future be free from the terrorist threat. (SunStar Zamboanga)