TEN members of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf surrendered with their weapons Monday in Ungkaya Pukan town in Basilan, the Armed Forces reported yesterday.
The 10 belong to the faction Furuji Indama, one of the senior leaders of the Abu Sayyaf based in Basilan, said Maj. Arvin Encinas, spokesman of the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command based in Zamboanga City.
Encinas named the 10 as Masbil Hoben, Haidal Tadling, Tong Sarunan, Said Kapon, Atung Ajallun, Samatin Matindo, Mulhakim Alabin, Asanuddin Dailon, Andoy Pingli, and Sanny Arasain.
Encinas said the Abu Sayyaf men surrendered to the Army’s 18th Infantry Battalion, bringing with their respective firearms.
“According to the surrenderors, they are tired of engaging in armed confrontations and they want a better future,” said Encinas of the terrorists who are still in the custody of the military in Basilan.
Wesmincom commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said the 10 Abu Sayyaf members will be provided with “psychological intervention” for them to “start a new and more meaningful life.
“We welcome all those who want to end the conflict in a peaceful way…We expect more of them to return to the mainstream of society,” said Lt. Col. Ivan San Jose, commander of the 18th IB.
The military estimates the Abu Sayyaf to have 300 to 400 members, mostly based in Sulu.
The group is known for atrocities like kidnapping-for-ransom, beheadings and bombings.
Meanwhile, barangay officials from Albarka and Tipo-Tipo towns, also in Basilan, surrendered 32 assorted loose firearms to the military also on Monday, said Encinas.
The 32 firearms are broken down into 20 Garand, four M16, four Carbine, two M14 rifles, an M203 grenade launcher and an Ultimax light machinegun.
“According to the surrenderors, they are tired of engaging in armed confrontations and they want a better future,” said Encinas of the terrorists.