NEW LIFE. Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, the Army’s 11th Infantry Division commander, puts his arm on the shoulder of one of the 13 Abu Sayyaf men who surrendered to them in Patikul, Sulu on Sunday (Nov. 14, 2021). The surrenderers said they are tired of fighting and want to start a new life with their families. (Photo courtesy of 11ID)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – A member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who decided to surrender in Patikul, Sulu sees no relevance in killing each other, especially fellow Filipinos.

“I don’t want to continue fighting. I see no relevance in killing each other since we are all Filipinos,” said 37-year-old Tista Hussien, who surrendered to military authorities Sunday in Sulu, along with his brother Sibar and 12 others.

In a statement Wednesday, Hussein, who is from Barangay Pansul, Patikul, said he grew up with the ASG bandits.

“I was brought by my father to the mountains that is why my entire life, the only places I know are Pansul and the mountains,” Hussien said.

“I was told by my father before that we will be killed once we approach the soldiers. But here I am now having a nice conversation with them and the mayor,” he added.

He said his deceased father, Juhurim, was the right-hand man of Radulan Sahiron, the oldest remaining ASG leader.

Hussien said when they surrendered on Sunday, it was the first time that he and his brother had stepped into the town of Jolo, the capital of the province.

Brig. Gen. Benjamin Batara, the Army’s 1103rd Infantry Brigade (Bde) commander, identified the other ASG surrenderers as Ladok Alina; Alkaiser Ladjahali; Bennajar Jalmaan; Asaral Asorani; Almujir Salammudin; Juli Uppih; Randimar Kiram; Makrim Habbisi; Hakem Asanji; Aisari Sadri; and, Jabir Nuni.

The surrenderers were followers of different ASG leaders, Batara said.

They also turned over 10 Garand rifles, two M16 rifles, an M79 grenade launcher, and a 9mm pistol when they surrendered Sunday at the headquarters of the 1103Bde in Barangay Bon-Bon, Patikul.

“As the father of the municipality, I am very happy that you returned. Together with Gen. Batara and Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, we are developing the town of Patikul to make it a better place to live,” Patikul Mayor Kabir Hayudini said

Gonzales, the commander of the 11th Infantry Division, assured the ASG surrenderers that they will have a bright future since many groups want to help them.

These include the members of the Municipal Task Force in Ending Local Armed Conflict and non-government organizations.

“We will help you to start a new life,” Gonzales told the ASG surrenderers. (PNA)