Tired of hiding, 2 ASG terrorists yield in Basilan

Two Abu Sayyaf Group members laid down their arms and returned to the fold of the law in Isabela City, Basilan Monday morning, January 11.

Western Mindanao Command photo

“Ahmad Ontong, a.k.a. Abu Kujaypa, 35 years old, married, and a resident of Barangay Upper Manggas, Lantawan, Basilan and Absirin Abul, a.k.a. Abs, 38, married, and a resident of Barangay Palahanan, Pilas Island, Hadji Muhtamad, same province submitted themselves to Joint Task Force Basilan Commander Col. Domingo Gobway at the Headquarters of 101st Infantry Brigade in Barangay Tabiawan, Isabela City at around 9 a.m. today,” said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

“Based on our records, the two are members of the group under the late ASG leader Isnilon Hapilon,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. added.

During the initial debriefing, the two revealed that Hapilon threatened and forced them to join the group in 2001.

They were involved in the numerous attacks launched by the group in Basilan, particularly in Sumisip and Maluso area.

Col. Gobway stated that the two did not participate in the Marawi siege, stayed in Basilan, and hid when Hapilon was neutralized.

“Tired of hiding, they decided to surrender and return to the mainstream society,” said Col. Gobway.

The duo handed over one M1 Garand rifle with one clip and eight rounds of ammunition, and one M14 rifle with one magazine and 17 rounds of ammunition.

“The deepened multi-sector alliance continues to bear positive results.

This is attributable to the good governance of the local chief executives, the resolve of our soldiers, and the support of our stakeholders,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr.

“We call on those who remain in hiding, now is the time for you to come out and avail of our reintegration programs for you and your families,” the commander added.

Subject personalities are currently undergoing custodial debriefing at the 101Bde headquarters. WESTERN MINDANAO COMMAND