2 ASG leaders, 13 followers yield in Sulu

By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.

December 12, 2020, 5:50 pm

<p>Google map of Sulu province.</p>

Google map of Sulu province.

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Two mid-level leaders and 13 followers of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have surrendered to the Army's 11th Infantry Division (ID) in Sulu province, military officials said Saturday.

Col. Antonio Bautista, commander of the Army's 1101st Infantry Brigade, identified the surrenderers as Alvin Yusop, an aide to ASG senior leader Radulan Sahiron, and Barahim Murjahar, also an aide to the late ASG leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.

The two mid-level leaders and 13 followers surrendered Friday through the concerted effort of Bautista and Brig. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, commander of the 1102nd Infantry Brigade.

They have turned over 14 assorted high-powered firearms.

Two of the 13 followers were identified as Muarip Adj and Hatimil Adja, both sons of ASG sub-leader Apoh Mike.

Patrimonio said Yusop was convinced by his family to surrender after his mother suffered a stroke.

Nurjahar, on the other hand, was compelled to surrender following sustained military operations against him, Bautista said.

“The presence of government troops drove out Nurjahar from his stronghold and caused him to starve. Realizing that his struggle has no sense, he approached the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) Jikiri faction, who then linked him to us for proper surrender,” he added.

Nurjahar will face legal proceedings for the abduction of the sister of a Sulu town mayor, Bautista said.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, the 11ID commander, said they were working with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Sulu governor’s office so that the ASG surrenderers could start a new life.

“Go on and raise your kids to be peace-loving citizens. Tell the others (ASG members), tell Apoh Mike, that they are welcome, so long as they are sincere, willing to face the rule of law,” Gonzales told the surrenderers. (PNA)