December 08, 2021, Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista, Jolo, Sulu – Last December 06, 2021, two Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members formally returned to the folds of the law at 45th Infantry Battalion (45IB) Headquarters in Brgy Tugas, Patikul Sulu.
45IB Acting Commanding Officer Ltc Vicente B Mabborang Jr identified the former bandits as 31 year-old alias Adzmil and 18 year-old alias Raj who were both residents of Patikul.
“They were previously under ASG leader Radullan Sahiron. Adzmil joined the group back when he was 18 years old while Raj when he was still 12 years old. At first, sabi nila natatakot silang magbalik-loob pero napanatag sila nung nakita nila na buong Task Force ELAC ang tatanggap at mag-aasist sa kanila,” Ltc Maborrang said.
The returnees voluntarily handed over their firearms, an M79 and an M16 rifle, to 11th Infantry Division Commander MGen William N Gonzales.
Per MGen Gonzales, ASG members are also continuously pressured by the relentless military operations. “45IB and our Special Forces recently had an encounter with the group of Sahiron. Our intelligence officers tell us that two bandits were killed during the firefight but unfortunately one of our soldiers gave the ultimate sacrifice. His name is Cpl Jonald S Casing.”
“Although this loss deeply hurt us, we honor Jonald by accepting ASG members who are ready to start anew. We forgive so that we can end the cycle of violence. As for those who are insisting on this senseless violent extremism, we will continue to do our job until our mission is fully realized,” MGen Gonzales added.