ZAMBOANGA CITY--Ongoing military offensives have forced three members of the Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to surrender separately to government authorities, military officials said.
Those who surrendered were identified as Omaidi Salain alias Abu Maidi; Jamad Habing, 22; and, his younger brother, Jem, 20.
Lt. Col. Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, said Salain surrendered to the troops of the Army’s 74th Infantry Battalion around 6:05 a.m. Saturday in Barangay Sinulatan, Tuburan, Basilan. He brought along with him an M16A1 “Baby Armalite” rifle with a magazine of ammunition.
Besana said Salain “was formerly listed number six in other identified personalities in the Periodic Status Report (PSR)” of Basilan-based ASG and Urband Terrorist Group (UTG).
“Salain said during the initial debriefing that he decided to surrender because of the realization that this is not the life that he wanted,” he said.
Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Joint Task Force Basilan commander, and Senior Supt. Rufino Inot, Basilan police director, confirmed the surrender of the Habing brothers on Sunday in Barangay Baguindan, Tipo-Tipo.
Inot said they turned over an M-16 Armalite rifle with attached M-203 grenade launcher with ammunition and a bandolier.
He said the two brothers were followers of Furuji Indama, one of the ASG leaders in Basilan province. They decided to surrender after learning that their comrades, who surrendered earlier, are enjoying a peaceful life after they were properly reintegrated into the community, the police official added.
Reacting to the surrender of the three ASG members, Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, Westmincom chief said he hopes that more Abu Sayyaf members will surrender and “choose to live a peaceful life."
“Rest assured they will be provided with livelihood programs to support their basic necessities,” Dela Vega added. (PNA)