ZAMBOANGA CITY: The military on Friday announced the surrender of 27 alleged Abu Sayyaf Group terrorists, including three sub-leaders, in Basilan and Sulu the same day that policemen killed a captured ASG member Saad Samad Kiram in Bohol.
Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, said the bandits belonged to different commands and are currently being interrogated. They also surrendered assorted automatic rifles and grenade launchers.
Petinglay said 19 of those who surrendered to the 64th Infantry Battalion came from Basilan, among them two identified as sub-leaders Nur Hassan Lahaman and Mudz-Ar Angkun.
Four others – Patta, Asbi, Sayyadi and Arci, all surnamed Salapuddin – from Basakan village in Hadji Mohammad Ajul, Basilan also surrendered separately to the military. They were involved in the March 23 hijacking of cargo ship Super Shuttle off Basilan. The Salapuddin group also surrendered two M16 rifles and an M79.
The Salapuddin brothers are linked to the Abu Sayyaf and kidnap for ransom group sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya.
Others who surrendered in Indanan, Sulu were Husain Nasirin, Hasir Asara, Udon Hussiem, an Abu Sayyaf sub-leader, and Haidal Kimar.
Petinglay said 40 other terrorists have surrendered in Basilan and Tawi-Tawi since January this year but all of them were eventually released by the military for lack of warrants of arrest for their involvement in kidnappings for ransom, piracy and murders.
She did not say whether those who surrendered will also be freed. The government has not offered amnesty to the Abu Sayyaf group tied with the Islamic State and blamed by Philippine authorities to the spate of terrorism, ransom kidnappings and piracy.
with JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL