ASG SURRENDERERS. Authorities arrest an alleged Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bomber in the coastal village of Muti town, Zamboanga City, while eight others surrendered to military authorities in Luuk town, Sulu province on Wednesday (May 24, 2023). In photo is one of the eight surrenderers handing over his firearm to Brig. Gen. Giovanni Franza, the Army’s 1102nd Infantry Brigade commander. (Photo courtesy of 1102nd Infantry Brigade)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities have arrested an alleged Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bomber here while eight other ASG members surrendered in Sulu province, police and military officials said Thursday.

Col. Alexander Lorenzo, city police director, said Nursin Isnilon Pawaji alias Nanir Bandahala was arrested by joint police and military operatives around 4:17 p.m. Wednesday in Sitio Niyog-Niyog, Barangay Muti, a coastal village east of this city.

Pawaji, 26, has a standing warrant of arrest for illegal possession, manufacture, and acquisition of firearms or explosives with no recommended bail bond issued by a court here in December 2022.

Lorenzo said Pawaji, a follower of ASG sub-leader Marzan Ajijul, was previously arrested for multiple attempted murder.

He did not elaborate why Pawaji managed to remain scot-free.

Meanwhile, eight ASG members have surrendered to Brig. Gen. Giovanni Franza, commander of the Army’s 1102nd Infantry Brigade in Barangay Tandu Bato in Luuk town, Sulu on Wednesday.

Franza said the ASG surrenderers turned over five Garand rifles, an improvised Thompson pistol, and a .38-caliber pistol.

The surrenderers, who were only identified through their aliases, are followers of the late ASG leaders Isnilon Hapilon, and late sub-leaders Majan Sahidjuan, Alhabsy Misaya, Latip Sape, and Hairulla Asbang.

“They took their oath of allegiance to the government and vow to support its peace and development efforts,” Franza said.

The surrenderers received grocery items and rice as initial assistance from the military and the local government unit. (PNA)