ASG MEMBER YIELDS AMID INTENSIFIED MILITARY OFFENSIVE IN SULU
Abu Sayyaf Group member Basari Sali, 60 (left), turns over a Garand rifle when he surrendered on Sunday to the Philippine Marine Ready Force-Sulu in Panamao, Sulu. (Photo courtesy of Naval Forces Western Mindanao Public Affairs Office)
ZAMBOANGA CITY -- A follower of senior Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader Radulan Sahiron has surrendered as government troops continue to hunt down and pound the ASG bandits in the hinterlands of Sulu, a military official said Monday.
Col. Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, identified the ASG surrenderer as Basari Sali, 60, who surrendered to the Philippine Marine Ready Force-Sulu (PMRF-S) on Sunday in Panamao, Sulu.
Lt. Col. Hilario De Vera Jr., PMRF-S deputy commander, received Sali when he surrendered and turned over a Garand rifle.
Sali was subsequently brought to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital for a medical checkup prior being turned over to the Joint Task Force Sulu for proper disposition.
Besana said the surrender of Sali was facilitated by the local government officials of Panamao municipality.
“The intensive efforts and dedication of the government troops, particularly the Fleet-Marine forces in Sulu, led to the surrender of Sali and the recovery of a loose firearm,” said Rear Adm. Rene Medina, Naval Forces Western Mindanao command chief.
“Your navy will continue its stand to deny and eliminate the presence of terrorists in its area of operations,” Medina added.
Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, Westmincom chief, said they anticipate that more ASG bandits will abandon the group and surrender to the troops in Sulu “with the escalated offensives and the pursuit of remaining terrorists.”
“Nevertheless, our heightened operations will continue to crush the militants and suppress terrorism in the province (of Sulu),” dela Vega added. (PNA)