Two of the most wanted Abu Sayyaf members and three other bandits have surrendered on Sunday, the military said Monday.
The military said Jun Hassan and Titing Alihassan, both listed in the Department of National Defense's (DND) most wanted list of Abu Sayyaf members, surrendered to members of Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi at 3 p.m..
Hassan and Alihassan also surrendered an M16 rifle, an M1 Garand rifle, and a short magazine for M16 rifle with 22 pieces ammunition for caliber 5.56mm.
Brigadier General Custodio Parcon Jr., commander of Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi, said Alihassan is Number One on the task force's list of wanted Abu Sayyaf members and Number 3 in the DND's list.
Parcon said Alihassan was involved in the series of kidnapping incidents in the high seas such as the seajacking of a Vietnamese vessel on Feb. 17, 2017.
Hassan is also included in the DND list and brother of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Butchoy Hassan, who was killed in March 2017, in Sitangkai town, he said.
Parcon added that Hassan was one of the financiers in the kidnapping of Taiwanese national Evelyn Chang at Pompom Island Resort, Sabah, Malaysia in November 2013.
Three other Abu Sayyaf members surrendered to Joint Task Force Sulu on Sunday. They were identified as Kadra Arajun Sawadjaan, Alnajar Arajun Sawadjaan, and Sherul Arad Sahiyul.
Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana, Joint Task Force Sulu commander, said the bandits were picked up by the members of the Philippine Marine Ready Force-Sulu at Barangay Bunot, Indanan, Sulu.
The three surrendered an M16 rifle, an M79 Grenade Launcher, and a .45 pistol.
Sobejana said that according to the three bandits, they were recruited by the late Abu Sayyaf sub-group leader Alhabsy Misaya.
He said the three were previously seen in a recovered video showing Abu Sayyaf members marching and in formation in Indanan, Sulu taken sometime in August 2015.
Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr. said that the government, in coordination with Ulamas, has a rehabilitation program for Abu Sayyaf members who have surrendered.
He said the program aims to prevent those who have surrendered to return to the Abu Sayyaf group. —ALG, GMA News