SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao: A joint task force pounded harder remaining Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists, resulting in what the Armed Forces of the Philippines called as the neutralization of three more bandits as combat operations heat up in Western Mindanao, according to a Philippine Army official.
Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay, spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command, on Sunday said elements of the 61st/65th Marine Company, Marine Special Operation Group and the 2nd Special Forces Battalion, engaged the ASG terrorists, who previously were under the command of sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya, on Bangalaw Island, Banguingui, Sulu province.
Misaya was killed recently in a clash with government troops.
Neutralized was Abu Sayyaf member Imbo, Petinglay said.
Recovered from him were an M16 rifle, magazines for M16 and ammunition.
Upon checking Imbo’s pockets, a sachet of shabu was found with five other empty sachets, as well as a cellphone containing information on his fellow bandits.
“Imbo is an ASG/KFRG [kidnap-for-ransom gang] member and trusted contact on Bangalaw Island of the late Misaya,” according to Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu.
“He is a KFR contact and facilitator on the island and a keeper of Misaya’s firearms and pump boats used in kidnapping ventures,” Sobejana said.
No casualty was reported on the government side while it is believed that the bandits suffered heavy casualties.
Meanwhile, two ASG members under sub- leader Nurhassan Jamiri surrendered recently to Joint Task Force Basilan under Col. Juvymax Uy.
Janatin Mudjaral Madjakin, aka Atin, 44, and Aldasid Madjakin, aka Alda, 19, surrendered to the troops of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion in Camp Cordero, Campo Uno in Lamitan City, Basilan.
The two yielded two high-powered firearms, an M16A1 rifle and an M79.
In his report to the WestMinCom commander, Uy said the duo (father and son) decided to surrender because of relentless military operations against the ASG.
The two said more ASG members are contemplating to also surrender.
“More than anything else, we also want to work for peace without the use of arms and prevent bloodshed, and, in this light, we are encouraging other Abu Sayyaf bandits, as Filipinos, to lay down their arms and join the government in working for a peaceful and progressive Mindanao,” Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. commander, Western Mindanao Command, said.
“But if they prefer to fight, then we will make sure that our troops will get them hard the soonest,” Galvez added.
A total of 27 ASG terrorists have surrendered in Basilan.