11 followers of suicide bombing mastermind surrender in Sulu
Soldiers walk past the body of a man slumped beside a tricycle following an armed attack in front of the temporary headquarters of the army’s First Brigade Combat team, in Jolo on June 28, 2019.
AFP/Nickee Butlangan
11 followers of suicide bombing mastermind surrender in Sulu
Roel Pareño (Philstar.com) - October 17, 2020 - 3:54pm

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — At least eleven Abu Sayyaf followers bolted out from the factions of suicide bombing mastermind and senior militant leader and surrendered Saturday to the military forces, security officials said.

The 11 former Abu Sayyaf members under the groups of Mundi Sawadjaan and Radullan Sahiron turned in themselves to Col. Antonio Bautista Jr., commander of the 1101st Brigade in Camp Bautista, Jolo, said Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, chief of the Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS) and 11th Infantry Division.

Gonzales said the former militant members claimed they were disgruntled as they were deceived from joining the Abu Sayyaf group which placed their lives in constant danger.

He said the returnees were also motivated by their desire to avail of the social integration benefits provided by the JTFS and provincial government under the localized social integration program.

The surrender was facilitated by the 41st, 100th Infantry Battalions, and 11th Mechanized Infantry battalion under the municipal Task Force on Ending Local Armed Conflict of Patikul, Maimbung, Indanan, Talipao and Pata towns.

Gonzales said the former Abu Sayyaf members, who were only identified through aliases for their security against their former terror group, also yielded seven firearms, mostly M16 and Garand rifles.

“The returnees will be undergoing the Social Integration Program managed by the LGU and JTF Sulu,” Gonzales said.

The returnees were also provided with physical and medical examination at Camp Bautista Station Hospital Saturday and will go through profiling process for the next few days prior to the administration of psychosocial interventions, the military official said.

According to Col. Bautista, the Abu Sayyaf returnees will be enrolled to the livelihood trainings and seminars in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Bautista said the local government units play a vital role in the reformation process of the former militant members as the military is just acting as facilitator for their integration in the mainstream of society.

A week ago, the Ministry of Social Services and Development BARMM distributed financial assistance of P15,000 each to 144 Abu Sayyaf returnees for their livelihood.

Gonzales said records showed that since 2017, a total of 344 Abu Sayyaf members surrendered to the military, police and LGU Sulu. At least 217 had already availed of the livelihood assistance and 127 are yet to be enrolled in BARMM’s program.

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