NINE members of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) surrendered to authorities over the past weeks including the cousin of ASG and Maute-ISIS leader Isnilon Hapilon who was killed in a military assault operation in Marawi City.
This was according to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Public Affairs Office (PAO) Chief Colonel Edgard Arevalo.
Arevalo said among the nine bandits who surrendered, the troops identified one of them as Ben Salina Sapilin alias Ben, cousin of Hapilon.
Sapilin surrendered to the 74th Infantry Battalion on October 17, 2017 along with other members Ramu Sapilin and Muhamad Endeng.
“We were able to identify Ben Salina Sapilin who uses the alias ‘Ben’ a cousin of Isnilon Hapilon. He, along with other members Ramu Sapilin and Muhamad Endeng, surrendered to troops of the 74th Infantry Battalion on 17 October 2017 in Al Barka, Basilan. They brought along with them three high-powered firearms,” Arevalo said.
As of press time, the military already neutralized 325 ASG personalities.
Of the said number, 124 were killed in combat operations, 82 others were arrested and 119 voluntarily surrendered.
Arevalo said the mass surrender of the terrorists in masses is the result of the AFP’s combined focused combat, intelligence, and civil-military operations in cooperation with the local governments in the area.
He said in September alone, 15 Abu Sayyaf terrorists turned themselves to the AFP. On September 30, 2017 there other ASGs under the late sub-leader alias Ninok Sappari voluntarily surrendered with their high-powered firearms to the 32nd Infantry Battalion, Philippine Army.
In Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi (BaSulTa), a certain Boy Indama, one of the jail escapees in Basilan Provincial Jail in December 2009, was re-arrested by combined police and military on September 28.