ZAMBOANGA CITY – A follower of the founding-leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and two others have surrendered to authorities in Basilan province, officials said Tuesday.
Col. Richard Verceles, operations chief of the Area Police Command-Western Mindanao, said Momar Kuto Saluan, 47, a follower of the late ASG founding-leader Ustadz Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani, surrendered around 8 a.m. Tuesday in Maluso town, Basilan.
Janjalani, an Afghan-trained jihadist, formed the ASG in 1990 in Basilan province claiming to promote an independent Islamic state in Western Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago.
Janjalani was killed in a clash with policemen in December 1998 in the outskirts of Isabela City, the capital of Basilan.
Verceles said Saluan, who has been hiding since the death of Janjalani in 1998, turned over a Garand rifle with a clip of eight ammunition.
The surrender of Saluan was facilitated by joint police, military and municipal government of Maluso.
Saluan will be turned-over to the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government for social services, financial, livelihood assistance, skills training, and other support given to former extremist for reintegration to the community and his family and start new normal lives.
Meanwhile, two other ASG members—Rahman Hawari, 25, and Hamudi Tanjung, 21—surrendered around 3 p.m. Monday to the Army's 18th Infantry Battalion (IB).
Hawari and Tanjung turned over two Garand rifles. Their surrender was jointly facilitated by police, military and local government units of Lamitan City and Ungkaya Pukan town. (PNA)