Disgruntled Abu Sayyaf Group members surrender in Sulu

Published November 1, 2020, 9:20 AM

by Bonita Ermac

ILIGAN CITY – Three Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members surrendered to the government forces in Sulu on Friday, October 30.

Three Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members surrendered to the government forces in Sulu on Friday, October 30. (Photo courtesy of WestMinCom / MANILA BULLETIN)

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) Head Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. said one of those who surrendered was identified only as “Dexter” and was involved in the kidnapping of Indonesian seafarers.

Dexter surrendered to the Sixth Special Forces Battalion (6th SFBn) along with Albasir Salim, also known as Abu Sabad, who belonged to the group of ASG sub-leader Sibih Pisih; and Edwin Panduga Abdulmain, also known as Splakang, a former follower of ASB sub-leader Ekoh Udjaman.

According to Vinluan, Dexter was actually not aware that the ASG was engaged in kidnapping activities, and that he was just lied to by the group’s leaders who he considered as his friends.

Dexter added that he was just forced to get involved in kidnap-for-ransom activities for fear of being killed by his ASG comrades.

According to 6th SFBn Acting Commander Lt. Col. Rafael Caido, Dexter’s most recent involvement in ASG atrocities was in the abduction of five Indonesian seafarers in Malaysian waters last January 16.

 “He was also present during the group’s encounter with troops of the Third Light Reaction Company, Fourth Special Forces Company, and the Navy and Air Force troops in Sulare Island, Parang, Sulu on January 18,” Caido added.

The surrendered personalities were subsequently presented to 1102nd Infantry Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio at the unit’s headquarters in Camp Bud Datu, Barangay Tagbak, Indanan Sulu.

Patrimonio commended the troops of the 6th Special Forces Battalion for a job well done. “Your humanitarian projects have paid off”, he said. 

The three surrenders handed over an M1 Carbine, a G1 battle rifle, an M1 Garand rifle, and assorted ammunition.

JTF Sulu Commander Maj. Gen. William Gonzales enjoined the remaining members of the ASG to peacefully surrender to authorities.

“The Western Mindanao Command is tightening its security that’s why the ASG opted to kidnap outside Philippine borders. On the other hand, all military battalions are focused on neutralizing the ASG and their logistics to include KFR activities. Either members surrender or get killed in the armed engagement. I hope others can also come to their senses and give value to theirs and their families’ life,” Gonzales said.

The surrendered personalities are undergoing custodial debriefing at 6th SFBn headquarters in Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul, Sulu.