One of the hunters of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader Radullan Sahiron has confirmed the willingness of the bandit chief to surrender due to old age, fatigue and incessant military pressure.
This was disclosed by Joint Task Force commander Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana in an interview Wednesday.
“There is no definite date yet for his surrender but he has expressed willingness to surrender and as reported to us, he is weak, tired and weary due to their constant movement from one place to another as our focused military operation against them is unceasing due to our constant rotation of our forces,” said Sobejana in Filipino.
Sobejana declined to identify the ASG chief’s emissary but said the latter is a close and respected friend of the bandit chieftain.
He also declined to give additional details as efforts are still ongoing to ensure that Sahiron’s surrender will materialize.
“We believe that once Radullan surfaces (and surrenders), his followers and other (leaders) will follow,” the military official added.
Should this develop, 70 percent of the ASG problem will be solved, the Joint Task Force Sulu commander stressed.
One of the conditions set by the ASG leader is that the Philippine government will not turn him over to the US government.
Sahiron is the leading figurehead of the ASG in Sulu after most of the founding leaders of the group were killed.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has set a USD1 million reward for the capture of Sahiron.
Sobejana said that one of the conditions they set is that the ASG chief should also convince his followers to surrender also.
The total number of surrendered Abu Sayyaf members has reached 16, following the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to finish off the bandit group in six-month period. The deadline will lapse on June 30.
There are over 40 Abu Sayyaf members who have been killed in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi since January.