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11 ASG bandits yield in Sulu

October 17, 2020 - Saturday 6:10 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image ASG SURRENDERERS. An Abu Sayyaf Group surrenderer hands over a high-power rifle to Col. Antonio Bautista Jr. (3rd from left), commander of the Army's 1101st Infantry Brigade, during the surrender ceremony in Sulu on Friday (Oct. 17, 2020). A total of 11 bandits surrendered to the military to avail of the government’s social integration program. (Photo courtesy of the 11th Infantry Division)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Saying they want to avail of the government’s social integration program, 11 members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have surrendered to military authorities in Sulu province, an official said Saturday.

The 11 ASG surrenderers, who are followers of ASG leaders Mundi Sawadjaan and Radulan Sahiron, turned themselves in on Friday to Col. Antonio Bautista Jr., commander of the Army's 1101st Infantry Brigade.

Bautista said the surrenderers, whose identities were not divulged for security reasons, also turned over seven assorted high-power firearms.

Their surrender was facilitated by the Army's 41st Infantry Battalion (IB), 100IB, the 11th Military Intelligence Battalion, as well as the Municipal Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict (MTF-ELAC) of the towns of Patikul, Maimbung, Indanan, Talipao, and Pata.

Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of the 11th Infantry Division, said the 11 ASG surrenderers would undergo a social integration program managed by the local government unit and Joint Task Force Sulu.

Bautista said they would be enrolled in livelihood training and seminars to be conducted in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“The local government units play a vital role in this reformation process. Together with the municipal mayors, the 1101st Brigade will facilitate the integration to the mainstream society of these returnees,” he added.

At least 144 ASG surrenderers each received PHP15,000 in livelihood assistance from BARMM's Ministry of Social Services and Development on October 8.

The Joint Task Force Sulu said 344 ASG bandits have surrendered in Sulu since 2017.

Of the total, 217 have availed of the livelihood assistance and 127 are yet to be enrolled in the government’s social integration program. (PNA)