2 Abu Sayyaf members surrender in Sulu
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2 Abu Sayyaf members surrender in Sulu
Roel Pareño (Philstar.com) - September 26, 2020 - 6:06pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The military is expecting more Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf members to surrender after additional two members voluntarily surrendered Friday to the security forces in Patikul town, Sulu.

Their surrender brought to 10 Abu Sayyaf members who gave up this week for fear that pursuing troops will catch them during offensive operation, military official said.

The two new surrenderees turned themselves to Lt. Col. Rafael Caido, commanding officer of the 6th Special Forces Battalion in Patikul town about 10 a.m. Friday.

The two, whose identities were withheld for their security, yielded one M16 rifle and a M79 grenade launcher. 

“Sensing the pressure of the military’s ground, air and marine operations, the local terrorist group members here in Sulu are rumbling and finding ways to return to the fold of the law,” Caido said in a report to Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS).

During the tactical debriefing, the two claimed that they were also enticed by their former comrades who surrendered ahead to leave the group and take advantage of the government's program Task Force ELAC (Ending Lawless Armed Conflict), said  Brig. Gen. Ignatious Patrimonio, commaning officer of 1102nd Brigade.

"For this week, a total of 10 ASG members yielded to the troops of Joint Task Force Sulu," said Brig. Gen. William Gonzales, JTFS 11th division commander.

He said the substantial number of those who surrendered degraded the group of Idang Susukan and weakened possible support for Abu Sayyaf bomber Mundi Sawadjaan.

Susukan, an Abu Sayyaf subleader wanted for kidnapping and murder of captives, was arrested in Davao City last August, while Sawadjaan was tagged as the mastermind in the August 24 twin suicide bombings in Jolo.

Gonzales vowed combat operations will be relentless "until we have cornered and neutralized the groups of Sawadjaan and (Raulan)."

He said that while they employ the full force of JTFS in neutralizing terrorists who engage the troops, they will also actively support the efforts of the local government of Sulu civil task forces to accommodate the Abu Sayyaf members who peacefully and voluntarily surrendered in the localized social integration program.

ABU SAYYAF GROUP (ASG)
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