Another 11 Abu Sayyaf members surrender to JTF SULU, WESTMINCOM, AFP

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Camp Bautista, Jolo, Sulu – Motivated by their desire to avail of the social integration benefits provided by the Joint Task Force Sulu and Provincial Government of Sulu under the Localized Social Integration Program, Eleven disgruntled Abu Sayyaf members under Mundi Sawadjaan and Radulan Sahiron surrendered to Col Antonio I Bautista Jr, Commander, 1101st Brigade at 1:30 PM of 16 October 2020.

The returnees, not in their true names for security reason, are alias Alji, 24 years old; Gaspar, 45 yo; Amz, 45 yo; Ardin, 32 yo; Bebs, 25 yo; Madz, 48 yo; Uyong, 34 yo; Bahad, 52 yo; Nayin, 35 yo; Allon, 45 yo; and Asir, 42 yo. The surrender was facilitated by 41st IB, 100th IB, and 11th MIB under the municipal Task Force on Ending Local Armed Conflict (MTF ELAC) of Patikul, Maimbung, Indanan, Talipao, and Pata, Sulu. They have brought with them their seven assorted high powered firearms primarily composed of M16 armalite and M1 garand rifles.

“The returnees will be undergoing the Social Integration Program managed by the LGU and JTF Sulu. They have undertaken their physical and medical examination at Camp Bautista Station Hospital today and will go through profiling process for the next few days prior to the administration of psychosocial interventions.” said Major General William N Gonzales.

Col Bautista likewise elaborated that the returnees will be enrolled to livelihood trainings and seminars to be conducted in partnership with TESDA and Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE) – BARMM.

“The Local Government Units play a vital role on this reformation process; together with the Municipal Mayors, the 1101st Brigade will facilitate the integration to the mainstream society of these returnees,” Col Bautista added.

It can be recalled that last October 8, 2020, the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD), BARMM distributed financial assistance in the amount of fifteen thousand pesos (Php 15,000.00) to 144 ASG returnees of Sulu for livelihood purposes. From calendar year 2017 to date, a total of 344 ASGs surrendered to AFP, PNP, and LGU Sulu. 217 had already availed of the livelihood assistance and 127 are yet to be enrolled in BARMM’s program.

According to MGen Gonzales, “The process will still be the same; I will submit the names of these 11 returnees to WESTMINCOM, AFP for them to avail the livelihood program extended by MSSD after finishing their skills training. Under the guidance of our WESTMINCOM Commander, Lt Gen Corleto S Vinluan Jr, the JTF Sulu will continuously implement the Social Integration Program for Sulu ASG returnees in close coordination with Governor Abdusakur M Tan and the rest of the Municipal Mayors of Sulu.”