ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Philippine Army is investigating three Abu Sayyaf members following their surrender in Sulu province in southern Philippines, officials said Wednesday.
The trio – Alex Issan, 38; Madjidul Asara, 47; and Jimil Inggan, 25, – surrendered to the 32nd Infantry Battalion under Lieutenant Colonel Jaran Abdula in the town of Patikul on September 30, but officials only announced this on Wednesday.
Army Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, a spokeswoman for the Western Mindanao Command, confirmed the surrender and said the militants also handed over two Garand rifles to the group of Abdula. She said the militants were followers of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Ninok Sappari who was killed by soldiers in a clash in Tawi-Tawi province in February this year.
The military did not release details of its interrogation on the militants or whether they had provided the army with intelligence on the activities of the Abu Sayyaf which is still holding over a dozen local and foreign hostages in the restive region.
But the surrender of the three men raised to 117 the total number of those who have yielded to the military in Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu since January. Most of them were also released by the Western Mindanao Command because they had no arrest warrants and even provided them money for livelihood while some are now working as military informants. AL JACINTO