From Tempo (Jun 19, 2020): ASG doctor, 2 others surrender in Sulu
ZAMBOANGA CITY – An imam serving as a doctor for the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and two of his close aides surrendered to the 45th Infantry Battalion (IB) at the Forward Operating Base of the Philippine Army in Barangay Tugas, Patikul, Sulu, and turned over two high-powered firearms.
Maj. Gen Corelito Vinluan, Philippine Army 11th Division commander in Sulu, said the three surrendered to the soldiers Friday but declined to identify the imam and his two cohorts.
Vinluan said the relentless effort of the soldiers to locate the other casualties of the ASG led to the discovery of a “hospital for ASG” in Barangay Libug-Kabao, Panglima Estino Municipality, a neighboring town of Patikul.
Upon learning of the ASG “hospital”, soldiers of the 45th IB (gallant troopers) immediately conducted a Civil-Military Operations (CMO) and Intelligence Operations in the village that resulted in the surrender of the imam and his two aides, Vinluan added.
The soldiers were able to convince the imam and his two aides to return to the folds of the law, Vinluan claimed.
“This imam is not an ordinary Muslim religious leader. He had been the doctor or healer of wounded ASG members for decades,” he said.
He said the soldiers were at the village searching for some of the ASG rebels who fled to Barangay of Libug-Kabao in Panglima Estino Municipality, a neighboring town of Patikul, when they discovered the ASG hospital in the area.
The village of Latih in Patikul, Sulu was the site of an encounter on April 22, 2020 where the ASG suffered one of their biggest defeats this year.
According to Vinluan, the military recovered three ASGs bodies while the rest, who were believed killed or wounded, were dragged by their comrades during their withdrawal towards Barangay Libug-Kabao. (Nonoy E. Lacson)