DILG welcomes surrender of nearly 100 Abu Sayyaf members in Sulu
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Friday led the ceremonial surrender of almost 100 members and sympathizers of the bandit group Abu Sayyaf in Bangkal, Patikul, Sulu as part of the localized Balik Loob program of the province.
During the ceremony, Interior and Local Government Benjamin Abalos, Jr. noted that this is the first-ever surrender from the ASG and is a symbolic act from the group for the better future of their kababayans.
“This is a very historical day. From the bottom of our hearts, welcome to the government. We will make sure that our children will live a good, better, and brighter tomorrow. Gaganda ang kanilang kinabukasan. Yan ang pagtrabahuhan natin lahat. Muslim, Kristiyano, sama-sama tayo. Lahat tayo ay Pilipino,”Abalos said.
He said that aside from a large number of surrenderers, this is also the first time that an entire group from the Abu Sayyaf have returned into and will be reintegrated to the government.
The surrenderers took an oath of allegiance to the government and turned over 88 assorted long-high powered firearms.
Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao, Jr. expressed his hope that the surrender will give way to a permanent solution for a true change in the area.
“Your surrender will lead to lasting peace and it will eventually lead to prosperity,” Danao said.
Abalos also said the Balik Loob program shows synergy among the government, the private sector, and the public in achieving peace in the region.
He thanked Danao and Joint Task Force Sulu Commanding Officer Brig.Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio for their relentless efforts to achieve peace and order in Mindanao.
''The DILG will help in boosting the Sulu agriculture and tourism as they are also contributors to peace and order in the locality," Abalos said.
According to Abalos, this act is a welcome development and a big step towards the unification call and efforts of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.
Surrenderers received relief goods from the DILG and the provincial government.
Sulu’s localized Balik Loob Program is part of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the Department of National Defense and DILG aimed for the reintegration in the government of former rebels. DILG Public Affairs and Communication Service