Thursday Feb, 09 2023 12:09:32 AM

21 Abu Sayyaf bandits surrender in Sulu

TIMRA Reports • 17:00 PM Thu Jan 5, 2023

ZAMBOANGA CITY – At least 21 members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have surrendered to authorities in Sulu, a police official said Thursday.

Col. Richard Verceles, operations chief of the Area Police Command-Western Mindanao, said the ASG bandits turned themselves in on Wednesday at Camp Col. Julasirim Kasim in Barangay Asturias, Jolo.

Maj. Gen. Edgar Alan Okubo, Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) chief, welcomed the ASG surrenderers in a ceremony at the headquarters of the 7th Special Action Battalion (SAB) at Camp Kasim, Verceles said.

Verceles said the surrender of the 21 ASG members was the result of the 84th Special Action Company’s "soft approach" on counterterrorism, particularly under the SAF CARES program.

The SAF CARES program is designed to promote peacebuilding and socio-economic development in local communities, where PNP-SAF units are deployed.

Verceles said the surrenderers were placed under the custody of the 7SAB for custodial debriefing, documentation and orientation in preparation for their reintegration to mainstream society.

On Jan. 2, three ASG followers also surrendered to authorities in Sulu. (PNA)

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