Military says 27 Sayyafs yield in South, but cops kill captured Sayyaf militant in Bohol
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Philippine military announced Friday the surrender of 27 alleged Abu Sayyaf militants, including three sub-leaders, in Basilan and Sulu provinces in the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao.
The announcement of their surrender came the same day that policemen killed a captured Abu Sayyaf militant, Saad Samad Kiram, in Bohol province in central Philippines. The 36-year old militant was arrested on Thursday in the village of Tanawan in Tubigon town after he asked a civilian for food and clothing.
Kiram, who was among a group of Abu Sayyaf fighters, who went to Bohol to kidnap tourists early this month, allegedly tried to escape from his police escorts while being transported to a prison facility in Tagbilaran City.
He was believed silenced for a still unknown reason, but Kiram was the target of a daring rescue operation recently by a police intelligence officer, Superintendent Maria Cristina Nobleza, who was clandestinely working for the Abu Sayyaf. Nobleza was eventually arrested by authorities along with a militant, Reneer Lou Dongon, who turned out to be her husband; and several others during a car chase in Tubigon. Nobleza said she was working undercover to be able to penetrate the Abu Sayyaf.
Captain Jo-ann Petinglay, a spokeswoman for the Western Mindanao Command based in Zamboanga City, said the militants belonged to different commanders and are currently being interrogated. She said the militants also surrendered assorted automatic rifles, grenade launchers.
She said 19 of those who surrendered came from Basilan and identified them as sub-leaders Nur Hassan Lahaman and Mudz-Ar Angkun. They surrendered to the 64th Infantry Battalion in Sumisip town’s Tumahubong village.
Four others - Patta Salapuddin, Asbi Salapuddin, Sayyadi Salapuddin, and Arci Salapuddin - all of Basakan village in Basilan’s Hadji Mohammad Ajul town also surrendered separately to the military. They were involved in the March 23 hijacking of the cargo ship Super Shuttle off Basilan.
And four militants - Husain Nasirin, Hasir Asara, Udon Hussiem, a sub-leader of the Abu Sayyaf, and Haidal Kimar – also surrendered to the military in Sulu’s Indanan town.Petinglay said 40 other militants surrendered in Basilan and Tawi-Tawi since January this year, but all of them were eventually released by the military because of lack of arrest warrants for their notorious crimes – from ransom kidnappings, piracy and murders.
She did not say whether those who surrendered will also be freed. The government has not offered any amnesty to the Abu Sayyaf group tied with the Islamic State and blamed by Philippine authorities to the spate of terrorism, ransom kidnappings and piracy. (Mindanao Examiner)
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