Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf member yields in Sulu 1

ZAMBOANGA CITY — A member of the Basilan-based Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has surrendered to military authorities in the province of Sulu, officials said Thursday.

Col. Gerry Besana, Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) information officer, identified the ASG surrenderer as Omar Mustamud, a resident of Barangay Parang Basak in Lamitan City, Basilan.

Besana said Mustamud surrendered to the troops of the Army’s Special Forces Battalion headed by Lt. Col. Diosdado Carlos Pambid around 9 a.m. Wednesday in Barangay Buhanginan, Patikul, Sulu.

He said Mustamud, a follower of ASG sub-leader Khair Mundos, turned over an M-16 “Baby Armalite” rifle when he surrendered.

Mustamud was presented to Brig. Gen. Peter Angelo Ramos, the Army’s 1102nd Infantry Brigade commander, prior to his medical check-up and custodial debriefing at the Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital.

Lt. Gen. Arnel Dela Vega, Westmincom chief, welcomed the decision of Mustamud to surrender and return to a peaceful life.

“The Western Mindanao Command continuously provide support programs to those who have decided to return to the folds of the law,” Dela Vega said.

“We are also exerting effort in reaching out those who are having second thoughts to surrender,” he added. (PNA)