As troops hunt down and pound Abu Sayyaf rebels in the jungles of Sulu, a follower of top Abu Sayyaf leader Radulan Sahiron laid down his arms on February 10.
Basari Sali, 60, surrendered to the troops of the Philippine Marine Ready Force Sulu under Colonel Armel Tolato in Panamao, Sulu on Sunday.
Barangay officials of Bulangsih and local officials of Panamao facilitated his surrender to the troops.
Sali was then presented to Lieutenant Colonel Hilario De Vera, Jr., the PMRF Sulu Deputy Commander.
Marine troops subsequently brought him to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Hospital in Bus-bus, Jolo, Sulu before he was turned over to the Joint Task Force Sulu.
Sali also yielded a Garand rifle to the marines.
“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 Admiral Rene Medina, the commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao.
“Your navy will continue its stand to deny and eliminate the presence of terrorists in its area of operations,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, the commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said, “With the escalated offensives and the pursuit of remaining terrorists, we anticipate that more Abu Sayyaf militants will be convinced to abandon the group and surrender to the troops in Sulu.”
“Nevertheless, our heightened operations will continue to crush the militants and suppress terrorism in the province,” he added.