ZAMBOANGA CITY – Four more Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members, including the grandson of the bandit group’s senior leader Radullan Sahiron, surrendered to the military in Sulu, Armed Force of the Philippines- Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr. disclosed on Sunday, November 22.
Vinluan said Serhamal Bahjin Alli, Sahiron’s 28-year-old grandson and an M60 machine gunner of the bandit group, surrendered with three others to the Sixth Special Forces Battalion at its headquarters in Barangay Buhanginan in Patikul, Sulu, at around 9 a.m., Saturday, November 21.
Alli surrendered with Radzmel Said, alias Amil, 27, who was a member of the group of late ASG senior leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan; and Muknan Hadjirudin, 43, and Sali Kadil Ammad, 21, who were listed under group of the the late ASG sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya.
Amil was the nephew of Hatib Majid, alias Amah Patit, and the brother of two ASG active members Appal and Raup Said.
Vinluan said that, as a gesture of their sincerity to surrender, the four handed over their firearms, which included three M1 Garand rifles with clips, and each loaded with eight rounds of ammunition; and an M16 rifle with one short magazine loaded with 10 rounds of 5.56 ammunition.
During the initial debriefing, the four ASG members admitted that their group was already greatly weakened by the neutralization of their leaders and their comrades.
“We are having hard times and we are worn out because of hunger and lack of support,” they said in the local language, according to Vinluan.
According to senior military commanders in Sulu, more ASG members in Patikul and other towns in Sulu have already sent a filler to the military for their surrender
“The successful surrender was made possible through the relentless mass base operations of our soldiers and intelligence operatives,” said Lt. Col. Rafael Caido, Acting Commander of the 6th Special Forces Battalion.
The surrendered ASGs were subsequently presented to 1102nd Infantry Brigade Commander Brig. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio at the unit headquarters in Camp Bud Datu, Barangay Tagbak, Indanan, Sulu at 10:00 am, Saturday.
Patrimonio said: “I’m happy that you have decided to finally return home. Your surrender is a manifestation that the 1102nd Infantry Brigade was on the right track in its desire to end terrorism in Patikul. Help us inform the remaining members of the ASG to do the same while it is not yet late for them. Together, let us bring back the peace and progress in Sulu which we can all be proud of”.
The four were then brought to Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital for medical check-up.
Joint Task Force (JTF) – Sulu Commander Maj. Gen. William Gonzales said that military measures will continuously be undertaken while non-military actions are also being intensified to address the security challenges in the province of Sulu.