TIRED OF HIDING: 14 ASG members surrender

14 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members, who are tired of hiding, have surrendered to government forces along with their firearms. This is amid intensified combat operations in the island province of Sulu, the 11th Infantry Division (11ID) said.

“These 14 people are from various age groups. One thing in common is that they have once gone astray but are now slowly going back on track. They yielded firearms including four M1 Garand rifle, two M16 rifle, a 7.62 G1 rifle and five pistols,” Joint Task Force Sulu (JTF Sulu) and 11th Infantry Division commander Major General William N. Gonzales said.

1101st Infantry Brigade commander Brigadier General Antonio I. Bautista presented the surrenderrors to Major General Gonzales on March 8 at 1101st Infantry Brigade Headquarters at Bud Bayug, Brgy Samak, Talipao, Sulu.

Two surrenderors were identified as Almudar A. Muhajiri alias Almudz under ASG leader Radulan Sahiron and Warsib Hamja under alias Piting.

“Muhajiri was on our watch list for quite a long time. He was in hiding for 4 years before he came clean. He told me that he realized that he doesn’t have a future in group of Radulan. He wants to live in peace and wanted to start a new life to be able to help his family. I commend the 100th Infantry Battalion for reaching out to Muhajiri and to the others who are also here today,” Brigadier General Bautista said.

In report by 11th Infantry Division, Hamja said that he joined the ASG on 2014 and he was wounded during an encounter with the military around 2016.

“Sa hirap ng buhay, nasilaw ako sa pera kaya naisipan kong sumama sa grupo ngunit napagtanto ko na wala palang patutunguhan ang ginagawa namin puro patayan nalang. Gusto ko ng mamuhay ng mapayapa, makapaghanap ng trabaho para sa pamilya ko,” Hamja said.

“I’m glad that you are here with us. The 11th Infantry Division is constantly working with local government units to formulate and implement programs for all of you. As for the troops present, let’s continue our mission. We will not stop until ultimately end terrorism in this province,” Major General Gonzales said.