ZAMBOANGA. Nine Abu Sayyaf bandits surrender Monday, August 9, to the 1102nd Infantry Brigade in Tagbak village, Indanan, Sulu. A photo handout shows Major General William Gonzales, 11th Infantry Division commander (7th from left), and other government officials and stakeholders in a photo session with some of the Abu Sayyaf surrenderers at the headquarters of the 1102nd Infantry Brigade. (SunStar Zamboanga)
ZAMBOANGA. Nine Abu Sayyaf bandits surrender Monday, August 9, to the 1102nd Infantry Brigade in Tagbak village, Indanan, Sulu. A photo handout shows Major General William Gonzales, 11th Infantry Division commander (7th from left), and other government officials and stakeholders in a photo session with some of the Abu Sayyaf surrenderers at the headquarters of the 1102nd Infantry Brigade. (SunStar Zamboanga)

9 Abu Sayyaf bandits surrender

AN ABU Sayyaf surrenderer is thankful to military authorities for giving him the opportunity to spend, which he said his second life, together with his family.

This was the declaration of Totoh Engal, 53, who surrendered along with eight other Abu Sayyaf bandits to the 1102nd Infantry Brigade Monday, August 9, in Tagbak village, Indanan, Sulu.

Engal said he joined the Abu Sayyaf when he was 25 years old.

Engal admitted that he was involved in the kidnapping of 21 people, including 10 European tourists, on April 23, 2000 in Sipadan, Malaysia, and that he was once wounded in a clash with military forces in the hinterlands of Sulu.

"I left my eldest child who was two years old then when I joined the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). We keep on walking in the mountains until such time I was injured at the height of the military offensive here in Sulu," Engal said.

"This is my second life and I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to reunite with family and no longer in hiding," he added.

Brigadier General Benjamin Batara Jr., 1102nd Infantry Brigade commander, identified the other Abu Sayyaf surrenderers as Mannan Abdul, Aldaser Bingkal, Abu Tisoy, Takiyo Imdan, Abu Madz, Ahamad Hadjilani, Abu Jundi and Abu Ramon.

They yielded high-powered firearms that include three caliber .30 machineguns, M1 rifle, one Garand, one Uzi sub-machinegun, one US carbine caliber .30 M1, and a KG9 rifle.

Batara said the 6th Special Forces, 21st and 45th Infantry Battalions facilitated the surrender of the nine Abu Sayyaf bandits.

After their surrender, Batara presented them to Major General William Gonzales, commander of the 11th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force (JTF)-Sulu.

Gonzales lauded the continuous efforts of all units under JTF-Sulu and assured that surrenderers will get the assistance that they need.

"These people have once gone astray. We are glad that they choose a life of peace instead of hiding," Gonzales said.

"I am thankful to our troops for giving the opportunity to these nine surrenderers to leave a peaceful life. In such manner, we lessen our enemies and gain more allies. Treat us as your allies and let us work together with the residents of Sulu to attain peaceful and prosperous life," he added.

Mayor Kabir Hayudini of Patikul town has pledged to provide assistance to the Abu Sayyaf surrenderers. (SunStar Zamboanga)

Related Stories

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.
www.sunstar.com.ph