SURRENDER. Rear Admiral Donn Anthony Miraflor (left), Naval Forces Western Mindanao commander, welcomes the Abu Sayyaf Group members who have turned their backs on terrorism in Zamboanga City on Thursday (May 25, 2023). The surrenderers underwent medical checkups and debriefing and will be evaluated for inclusion in government assistance. (Photo courtesy of NFWM-PIO)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The government continues to win the war against insurgency and terrorism with the surrender of four Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members here and in two provinces of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Col. Alexander Lorenzo, Zamboanga City Police Office director, on Saturday identified the four ASG members as Ahmad Mawali, Akmad Hassan, Sibar Asid, and Anting Addalal.

The 30-year-old Mawali, a resident of Sitio Niyog-Niyog, Barangay Muti here, also yielded an M-14 rifle to police and military operatives here on Thursday.

He is a follower of ASG sub-leader Marzan Ajijul, who was involved in the February 2017 ambush of a bus that injured eight passengers in Barangay Buenavista here.

Rear Admiral Donn Anthony Miraflor, Naval Forces Western Mindanao commander, said Sulu-based Hassan and Asid, and Basilan-based ASG Addalal surrendered through the efforts of the Joint Task Forces (JTF) Sulu and Basilan and the BARMM Ministry of Peace, Order and Safety, also on Thursday.

“They willingly turned over a significant cache of firearms and explosives, demonstrating their commitment to leave behind their militant activities,” Miraflor said in a statement.

The trio underwent a medical checkup at Camp Navarro General Hospital here and were turned over to JTF Basilan and Sulu for documentation and possible inclusion in the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program.

Mawali was placed under the custody of the Joint Task Force Zamboanga for debriefing.

All four received food packs as initial assistance from the government.

Teenaged DI members arrested in Lanao

Meanwhile, a key leader and three followers of another terrorist group, the Dawlah Islamiya (DI), were arrested while waiting for the arrival of their supplies in Lanao del Sur.

Maj. Gen. Antonio Nafarrete, 1st Infantry Division commander, said Saturday the four were arrested by troops of the 32nd Infantry Battalion in Barangay Pabrika, Marugong town on Thursday night -- Abu Rasas, 18, a leader under Fajarudin Pumbaya Pangalian, the amir (ruler) of DI-Philippines; Saidi, 18, brother of DI-Lanao sub-leader Abu Sham; and two others aged 16 and 14.

Seized from their possession were firearms, explosives, and ammunition, including grenade launchers.

Lt. Gen. Roy Galido, Western Mindanao Command chief, commended the soldiers and credited the tip provided by the group of Moro Islamic Liberation Front commander Esmail Cosain. (PNA)