BASILAN, Philippines – A relative of slain terrorist leader Isnilon Hapilon and two members of the Abu Sayyaf Group under top leaders Furuji Indama and Nurhasan Jamir surrendered as combat operations are being intensified in Basilan.
Ben Salina Sapilin, a.k.a. Ben, a cousin of Hapilon, and two other Abu Sayyaf members identified as Rami Ben Sapilin and Muhamadendeng, yielded to the troops in Barangay Macalang, Albarka, Basilan last Tuesday, October 17.
Also surrendered by the group of Sapilin were an M16 A1 rifle, a Caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle, and an M79 rifle.
Sapili, a.k.a. Attik, is listed in the records of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as a follower of Nurhasan Jamiri, while Muhamadendeng, a.k.a. Aburayhad, is a follower of Furudji Indama.
The surrender was facilitated by operating troops of the 74th Infantry Battalion led by 1st Lieutenant Ali Kagui under the supervision of Lieutenant Colonel Jonas Templo, according to Colonel Juvymax Uy, commander of the Joint Task Force Basilan.
“Sapili and his companions are currently in the custody of the 74IB for the debriefing to be facilitated by our intelligence units,” Uy said.
For this year, a total of 124 Abu Sayyaf members have surrendered to government forces. Of this, 68 yielded in Basilan, 33 in Sulu, 21 in Tawi-Tawi, and two in Zamboanga City.
“Our Joint Task Forces will continue to sustain their security operations to bring about the eventual defeat of the Abu Sayyaf operating in the ZamBaSulTa area,” said Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“With the neutralization of the Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, we believe more of the bandits will surrender and return to the folds of law in the coming days.” – Rappler.com