By Francis Wakefield
Three more Abu Sayyaf members on Monday surrendered to the marines of the Joint Task Force Sulu (JTF Sulu) in Jolo, Sulu.
Hajar Abbang, 38, a resident of Barangay Kan Bulak, Luuk, Sulu; Kirah Ainazri Jawad, 20 ; and Sani S Jawad, 18, both residents of Buanza, Indanan voluntarily surrendered to the Philippine Marine Ready Force 2 of the Joint Task Force Sulu at 9:45 a.m.
According to Abang, he was formerly a follower of the late Abu Sayyaf Group Subleader (ASGSL) Alhabsy Misaya while the other two are followers of the late ASG subleader Abraham Hamid.
“The trio also voluntarily turned over their firearms, an M16 rifle; an M79 rifle; and an M1 Garand rifle to our soldiers,” said Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu.
The three were brought to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital in Barangay Busbus, Jolo, Sulu for medical checkup and for custodial debriefing.
Sobejana lauded the accomplishment of the marines and said, ‘with the right combination of focused military operations that pressures the ASG and the nonviolent approach that we are introducing, it is expected that more ASG members will be neutralized which may lead to their eventual downfall.
“It is notable that since our proposal for the ASG surrenderer Comprehensive Reintegration Program, more ASG members now returns to the folds of the law with firearms. This is a welcome development for us since we want to end our campaign against the ASG peacefully. After all, they are just misguided individuals and also Filipinos whom we are bound to serve,” he added.
For this year, a total of 23 ASG personalities have already surrendered to the units of Western Mindanao Command. There were 10 in Basilan; 11 in Sulu and two in Tawi-Tawi.
“The command continues to process surrenderers and will not stop exerting effort in reaching out to those who are having second thoughts to surrender,” said Lt. Gen.
Carlito G Galvez Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“As of this development, we have already reached a tally of 181 ASG surrenderers since 2017 and it continues to snowball as we sustain our campaign against the ASG in BaSulTa island provinces,” he said.