Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., the Commander of the Western Mindanao Command lauded the troops of the Joint Task Force Sulu led by Brig. Gen. William Gonzales for their relentless efforts that led to the surrender of 11 Local Terrorist Group (LTG) members on October 16, 2020, at 1:30 in the afternoon.
“Your hard work has paid off. Keep it up for our Tausug brothers and sisters,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr.
Motivated by their desire to avail of the benefits of the Localized Social Integration Program provided by the provincial government and the Joint Task Force, eleven disgruntled local terrorist group members submitted themselves to Col. Antonio Bautista Jr, the Commander of the 1101st Infantry Brigade, who are a.k.a. Alji, 24 years of age; a.k.a. Gaspar, 45; a.k.a Amz, 45; a.k.a Ardin, 32; a.k.a. Bebs, 25; a.k.a. Madz, 48; a.k.a. Uyong, 34; a.k.a. Bahad, 52; a.k.a. Navin, 35; a.k.a. Allon, 45; and a.k.a. Asir, 42 handed over seven high-powered firearms composed of M16 armalite and M1 garand rifles.
“The returnees will be undergoing the Social Integration Program managed by the LGU and the JTF Sulu. They have undertaken their physical and medical examination at Camp Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital and will go through the profiling process for the next few days before the administration of psychosocial interventions,” said Major General William Gonzales.
Col. Bautista likewise elaborated that the returnees will be enrolled in livelihood training and seminars to be conducted in partnership with TESDA and the Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE) – BARMM.
“The local government units play a vital role in this reformation process; together with the Municipal Mayors, the 1101st Brigade will facilitate the integration to the mainstream society of these returnees.” Col Bautista added.
It can be recalled that last October 8, 2020, the Ministry of Social Services and Development (MSSD), BARMM distributed financial assistance amounting to Fifteen Thousand Pesos (₱ 15,000.00) to 144 LTG returnees in Sulu.
From 2017 to date, a total of 344 local terrorists returned to the fold of the law in Sulu. 217 had already availed of the livelihood assistance and 127 are yet to be enrolled in BARMM’s program.
According to Maj. Gen. Gonzales, “The process will still be the same. I will submit the names of these 11 returnees to WESTMINCOM, AFP for them to avail the livelihood program extended by MSSD after finishing their skills training. Under the guidance of Lt. Gen. Vinluan Jr, the JTF Sulu will continuously implement the Social Integration Program for Sulu ASG returnees in close coordination with Governor Abdusakur Tan and the rest of the Municipal Mayors of Sulu.”
The surrender was facilitated by the 41st and 100th Infantry Battalions and the Municipal Task Force on Ending Local Armed Conflict (MTF-ELAC) of Patikul, Maimbung, Indanan, Talipao, and Pata, Sulu.
“Through the resolute efforts of our troops and the positive gesture of support and cooperation of our stakeholders, we continue to make unprecedented accomplishments evinced by the influx of terrorists who decide to return to the mainstream society,” Lt. Gen. Vinluan continued.
“Nonetheless, we will sustain our focused operations to dampen the will and strength of the adversaries who remain indoctrinated by the false beliefs of the group,” the commander added.
(Source: Western Mindanao Command)