SURRENDER. Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf member Totoh Akalun, 33, hands over a rifle to Lt. Col. John Ferdinand Lazo, the Army's 64th Infantry Battalion commander, when he surrendered Monday (August 8, 2022) in Basilan province. Akalun is a follower of Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf leader Pasil Bayali. (Photo courtesy of JTF - Basilan)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Saying they wanted to reunite with their families, two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits separately surrendered in Basilan and Sulu provinces.

In a statement Wednesday, the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) identified the two ASG surrenderers as Totoh Akalun, 33, a Basilan-based ASG member, and Abu Junjun, 29, another ASG supporter based in Sulu.

Brig Gen. Domingo Gobway, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Basilan commander, said Akalun surrendered Monday to Lt. Col. John Ferdinand Lazo, the Army's 64th Infantry Battalion commander in Sumisip, Basilan.

Gobway said Akalun is a follower of Basilan-based ASG leader Pasil Bayali, whose surrender was attributed to the sustained military and police operations against the ASG in Sumisip town.

Meanwhile, Abu Junjun turned in an M79 grenade launcher when he yielded Sunday to the police's 20th Special Forces Company (SFC) in Patikul, Sulu.

Junjun was affiliated with the group of ASG sub-leader Morasil Mudjahirin, a known aide of the late ASG leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.

Maj. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, JTF-Sulu commander, said Junjun surrendered through the joint efforts of the barangay officials of Bakung, Kadday Mampallam and Kaunayan, all of Patikul, and the 20SFC of the Army's 6th Special Forces Battalion under Lt. Col. Harold Nemeño.

“The sustained mass base operations that are being conducted by the 20SFC in the area also contributed to the surrender,” Patrimonio said.

Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., the Westmincom commander, said the two ASG surrenderers will undergo rehabilitation and reintegration programs of the Sulu and Basilan provincial governments. (PNA)