Abu Sayyaf in Basilan nears "eventual collapse" after leader, members give up: Lorenzana
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilan nears “eventual collapse” after more than a dozen of its members including one of its leader have surrendered to government troops in Basilan last Wednesday.
“The surrender of notorious Abu Sayyaf leader Nhurhassan Jamiri and his entire group after successful negotiations and military operations, will hopefully bring the eventual collapse of the ASG in Basilan, restore peace and order in the province, and bring justice to the death of thousands of soldiers, who sacrificed their lives to protect our people,” Lorenzana said in a press statement Thursday.
Lorenzana made his statement after Jamiri and 13 of his followers have surrendered to government authorities in Basilan.
Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao commander, expressed belief more ASG leaders are expected to surrender.
“Following Jamiri’s surrender, we expect the other top leaders of the Abu Sayyaf to do the same in the upcoming days,” he said.
Brigadier General Juvymax Uy, Joint Task Force Basilan commander, said the group of Jamiri also turned over their weapons to the military.
These are 10 high-powered firearms consisting of seven M16 rifles, an M4 carbine, an M653 rifle, and an M14 rifle, 40 assorted ammunition magazines, 651 pieces of live ammunition, a MK52 fragmentation grenade, and eight bandoleers.
"From the rendezvous area, all the troops along with the ASG surrenderers exfiltrated towards the headquarters of the 9th Scout Ranger Company and the 104 Brigade in Tabiawan, Isabela City," Uy said.
“The surrenderers are currently undergoing custodial debriefing,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS