Terrorists surrender, ASG fighter slips dragnet

ZAMBOANGA CITY — Three suspected members of the Daulah Islamiyah have surrendered while a suspected Abu Sayyaf Group member left his safe house and escaped before soldiers raided it.

The DI-Maguid Aliboy Group member identified as Lapong surrendered to the 10th Special Forces Company headquarters in Barangay Kablon, Tupi in South Cotabato, the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command Commander Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr. said Sunday.

Lapong, a resident of Barangay Lapu, Polomolok, South Cotabato, handed over to soldiers his caliber 45 Colt pistol on Friday.

Meanwhile, two other members of the DI-Maute Group identified as Habdani and Mao surrendered to the 49th Infantry Battalion in Lanao del Norte on Thursday, AFP-WestMinCom said.

The duo handed over one caliber 30 Garand rifle and one 7.62 Sniper rifle to soldiers of the 49th IB.

They were later presented to Col. Charlemagne Batayola Jr., commander of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade at the 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion headquarters based in Barangay Nangka, Baloi in Lanao del Norte, Rosario said.

Rosario commended his soldiers and urged the remaining terrorists to give up.

This is the best time for them to abandon their group and return to the folds of the law and enjoy life with their families, the AFP -WestMinCom commander said.

Meanwhile, police and military raided the safe house of Tawakil Bayali alias Jaber in Sitio Oval, Barangay Tipo-Tipo Proper, Tipo-Tipo, Basilan on Friday but failed to catch their target who slipped through the military’s dragnet, Joint Task Force Basilan Commander Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway said Sunday.

The soldiers immediately conducted a clearing operation in the area and recovered one M79 Grenade Launcher, one 40mm WP ammunition, two rifle grenades, three fragmentary grenades, and 72 rounds of cal. 30 ammunition.

Personnel from the 39th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team also recovered explosives from the safe house and brought them to the 18th Infantry Battalion headquarters for proper disposition, according to Gobway.

“We are presently intensifying our intelligence operations to track down the remaining ASG members in the province,” he said.

“We are also strengthening our collaboration with our partners from the PNP and other security agencies to ensure the successful conduct of law enforcement operations,” Gobway added.

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