Eleven Abu Sayyaf Group terrorists from Sulu have surrendered to the military as combat operations continue in their stronghold, security officials disclosed Saturday.
Col. Antonio Bautista Jr., commander of the Jolo, Sulu-based 1101st Infantry Brigade, facilitated the surrender of alias “Alji,” 24; “Gaspar,” 45; “Amz,” 45; “Ardin,” 32; “Bebs,” 25; “Madz,” 48; “Uyong,” 34; “Bahad,” 52; “Nayin,” 35; “Allon,” 45; and “Asir,” 42, last Friday.
The real identities of the surrenderers were not divulged for security reasons.
Bautista said they were under the direct command of ASG bomb expert Mundi Sawadjaan who is behind the twin suicide bombings in a plaza in Jolo last Aug. 24 that killed 17 people and injured 75 others.
They handed over seven assorted and high-powered firearms primarily composed of M16 Armalites and M1 Garand rifles.
Bautista said these ASG fighters were operating in Patikul, Maimbung, Indanan, Talipao, and Pata.
Major Gen. William Gonzales, commander of 11th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Sulu, said the surrenderers will undergo a social integration program to be managed by the Sulu government and the military.
To help them get back on their feet, the surrenderers were enrolled in various livelihood trainings and seminars under the supervision of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE).
“They have undertaken their physical and medical examination at Camp Bautista Station Hospital and will go through profiling process for the next few days prior to the administration of psychosocial interventions,” Gonzales said.
Since 2017, 344 ASGs have surrendered to authorities in Sulu, of which 217 had availed themselves of Bangsamoro livelihood assistance programs.