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Abu Sayyaf surrenderees climb to 179

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The number of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) surrenderers have climbed to 179 this year as two more bandits gave themselves up to authorities in the province of Sulu, a top military official said Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Arnel dela Vega, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, identified the two as Ranu Jillang and Ben Kirah, both former followers of the late ASG sub-leader Alhabsy Misaya and sub-leader Salvador Muktadil.

Dela Vega said Jillang and Kirah surrendered at around 9 a.m. Tuesday to the Marine Battalion Landing Team-3 (MBLT-3) headed by Lt. Col. Ramil Holgado in Barangay Seit Lake (Poblacion), Panamao, Sulu.

Mayor Al-Fraizer Abdurajak of Old Panamao town, in coordination with Col. Armel Tolato, commander of the Philippine Marine Ready Force-Sulu, facilitated the surrender of the two ASG bandits.

Dela Vega said the two surrenderers were brought to the Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista for medical examination and custodial debriefing.

“The accomplishments of our Joint Task Forces are greatly attributed to the indefatigable support of the local government units and the populace,” he said.

Of the 179 ASG surrenderers this year, he said, 75 yielded in Basilan, 95 in Sulu, six in Tawi-Tawi, and three in Zamboanga City.

“Rest assured all the surrenderers will be catered with the programs launched by the Philippine government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for all those who chose to return to the folds of the law,” he added. (PNA)