Saturday, February 12, 2022

3 ASG members surrender in Sulu

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 12, 2022): 3 ASG members surrender in Sulu (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

GOING BACK TO A PEACEFUL LIFE. Three members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) surrender on Feb. 10, 2022 to the 4th Marine Brigade in Sulu. One of the three ASG surrenderers handed over a rifle to Col. Vicente Mark Anthony Blanco III, 4th Marine Brigade commander, when they surrendered. (Photo courtesy of the 4th Marine Brigade)

Hardships aggravated by infighting drove three members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to surrender to the military in the province of Sulu, officials said Saturday.

Col. Vicente Mark Anthony Blanco III, 4th Marine Brigade commander,
identified the ASG surrenderers as Farckidly Abdurasa, Marsan Awalon, and Kimar Diray.

Blanco said they surrendered on Feb. 10 to the joint team of personnel from the 4th Marine Brigade, provincial police office, and national government agencies.

Abdurasa is a follower of the late ASG senior leader Taullah Abdurasa while Awalon belongs to the group of ASG senior leader Sansibar Bensio, who is detained at Sulu Provincial Jail.

Diray surrendered to the Marine Battalion Landing Team-8 (MBLT-8) personnel and was later presented to Blanco and Mayor Abdulbaki Ajibon of Omar town, Sulu.

Blanco said the three ASG members, other than their insecurities that government forces are closing in on them, opted to surrender to lead normal lives, and avail of the government’s programs for ASG returnees.

“They revealed the hardships they have been experiencing aggravated by the infighting within the ASG,” he added.

The surrender of the three brought the number of ASG surrenderers in Sulu to 19 since January 1.

NPA supporters also guilty of killing Northern Samar kids: DILG

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 12, 2022): NPA supporters also guilty of killing Northern Samar kids: DILG

Photo courtesy of Catubig MPS Facebook

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año expressed indignation over the death of two children in Barangay Roxas, Catubig, Northern Samar when New People’s Army rebels attacked government troops on February 8.

He likewise condemned supporters of terrorist groups, saying they are similarly responsible for the deaths as they have enabled the worthless cause of communism by incessantly funding and sustaining them.

Andre Mercado, 12, and Leandro Alivio, 13, were reportedly gathering coconuts when NPA rebels opened fire at members of the Philippine Army’s 803 Infantry Brigade (IB) patrolling around Barangay Roxas following reports of extortion activities.

Two other children were wounded during the shooting.

“Mga walang puso at kaluluwa ang mga salot sa lipunan na ito (They are heartless and despicable). The NPA has, time and again, proven it is a terrorist group,” Año said in a news release on Saturday.

“They have crossed, yet again, the road to hell by killing two innocent children. Wala na silang pinipili (They don’t choose their victims anymore). This is what their supposed cause for the people looks like. The bloodshed that knows no limit, targeting the vulnerable and the weak,” he added, vowing justice for the victims and their families.

Año said it is an open secret that aside from extortion activities, the NPA gets money from various sources and has infiltrated the public and private sectors.

“I hope that they finally realize that the communist terrorist group they are coddling is killing innocent children. And they are the ones who fueled and created these monsters who are now on a killing spree against our countrymen, women, and children,” Año said.

Capt. Valben Almirante of the 803rd IB said Mercado died on the spot while Alivio died at the Northern Samar Provincial Hospital in Catarman town.

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict earlier voiced the same sentiment and enjoined the public to stand united under the whole of nation approach that will “put behind bars the leaders of this communist terrorist organization and finally put an end to this bloody and tragic chapter in our country’s history”.

The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.