Young Abu Sayyaf member surrenders in Tawi-Tawi
ZAMBOANGA CITY – A young member of the Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has surrendered in Tawi-Tawi, bringing the number of bandits who yielded in the province this year to four, the military announced Tuesday.
Col. Romeo Racadio, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Tawi-Tawi commander, identified the ASG surrenderer as Maja Misal, 21, who carries the aliases "Abu Madz" and "Abu Mitz".
In a statement, Racadio said Misal, whose father was also an ASG member, surrendered to his personnel in Bongao town on Monday and turned over a Carbine rifle with ammunition.
He said Misal joined the ASG at the age of 17, but kept out of sight and transferred to Barangay Salibong of the same town after his father, Misal Jumsah, was killed in a clash with government troops in Patikul, Sulu sometime in 2017.
Maj. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said Misal made the right decision and spared himself from being killed in armed confrontations.
“He is still young and a brighter tomorrow awaits him. We are here to assist him in his reintegration into mainstream society,” Rosario said.
“We want to work for peace without the use of arms and prevent bloodshed, and, in this light, we are encouraging other Abu Sayyaf bandits, as Filipinos, to lay down their arms and return to the folds of the law. We continue to work closely with the local government and our partners to turn the strongholds of the Abu Sayyaf into a peaceful community,” he added.
Misal was presented to the Tawi-Tawi provincial government at the 2nd Marine Brigade headquarters in Barangay Sanga-Sanga, Bongao shortly after his surrender.
The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), through its Tulong Alay sa Bangsamorong Nangangailangan (TABANG) project, gave him a sack of rice, a water container and grocery goods as initial assistance