Sunday, June 11, 2017

3 Abu Sayyaf bandits surrender in Basilan

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 10): 3 Abu Sayyaf bandits surrender in Basilan

Relentless military offensive have forced three members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to surrender to the government authorities in the province of Basilan, a military official announced Friday.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Andrew Bacala, Army’s 4th Special Forces Battalion commander, said the three ASG members who surrendered Thursday afternoon were followers of bandit sub-leader Nurhassan Jamiri.

Bacala identified them as follows: Adulla Kalitut, 35; Natim Alamin, 25; and, Adzmil Alamin, 20. They yielded an M-16 Armalite and two caliber .30 M1 Garand rifles as well as several rounds of ammunition.

Bacala revealed that Kalitut is listed as number four in Nurhassan Jamiri's group and a PhP600,000 cash reward has been set for his arrest.

Kalitut said they decided to surrender “after experiencing hardship brought about by the sustained military offensives conducted by the government troops.”

“We are always on the run from the military. We do not have decent sleep or food. We are tired. We missed our families. We miss having a normal life,” Kalitut said.

Kalitut said he was enticed to join the ASG by the money promised him by the bandit group.

“I need to feed my family. Even before I become an ASG member, I find it hard to earn a living outside our municipality since I am immediately discriminated and labeled as a terrorist. My family is starving. I have to feed them. I am left with little choice,” He added.

The Joint Task Force Basilan has worked tirelessly to ride the province of the ASG’s influence since the start of the intensified military operations.

In August last year, government troops flushed the bandits from their strongholds in the municipalities of Albarka and Tipo-Tipo.

To date, 71 ASG members have surrendered in Basilan province.

The Joint Task Force Basilan is pioneering a framework on the rehabilitation of ASG members, who surrendered.

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