Friday, June 19, 2020

Abu Sayyaf ‘Imam’, 2 others surrender in Sulu

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 19, 2020): Abu Sayyaf ‘Imam’, 2 others surrender in Sulu (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

An Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) “Imam” and two others have surrendered to the government through joint efforts of the Civil-Military Operation (CMO) and intelligence operation in the province of Sulu, an official said Friday.

Maj. Arvin John Encinas, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) spokesperson, said the Imam and his two companions surrendered at the Forward Operating Base of the 45th Infantry Battalion (45IB) in Barangay Tugas, Patikul, Sulu on Wednesday.

Encinas was unable to divulge the identities of the three ASG surrenderers, citing security reasons.

“This Imam is no ordinary Muslim religious leader. He had been the healer of wounded Abu Sayyaf members for decades,” he said.

Encinas noted that the surrender of the three is the culmination of a long CMO and intelligence operations launched after the clash between 45IB troopers and the ASG bandits in Barangay Latih, Patikul, Sulu on April 22.

He said the ASG bandits suffered “one of their worst defeats, leaving behind three dead comrades and carrying others who were killed or wounded” during the clash.

The "relentless effort" to locate the other casualties of the ASG led the troops to Barangay Libug-Kabao, Panglima Estino, a neighboring town of Patikul, Encinas said, adding that upon learning of the ASG “hospital”, troops immediately established links through CMO and intelligence operation that culminated in the surrender of the Imam and his two companions.

The three were immediately placed under debriefing procedures.

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