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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Abu Sayyaf leader with RM4.4mil bounty intends to surrender

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Radulan Sahiron, the notorious leader of the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu, has expressed his intention to surrender due to old age.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., commander of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said Sahiron has tapped some elders in Sulu to relay his intention to surrender.

“The continuing operation against the Abu Sayyaf, up and down from Talipao, Patikul, Mainbung and other parts of Sulu, this is taking a toll on the part of the Abu Sayyaf particularly to Sahiron,” Galvez said.

Sahiron, the one-armed bandit leader of the Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf group, is believed to be in his mid-70s.

Citing the recent surrender of the 11 Abu Sayyaf bandits from Tawi-Tawi, Galvez said not only the lower rank members want to surrender.

“They now feel the heat of the operation, and they also feel the sincerity of the President (Rodrigo Duterte) to accept their surrender,” Galvez said.

“Sahiron is contemplating to surrender because he is already old,” he added.

But Galvez said Sahiron’s condition is for government not to turn him over to the US government or to other countries.

“He wants the Philippine government to handle his case,” he said.

Octavio Dinampo, a former kidnap victim and professor at the Mindanao State University in Sulu, said Sahiron is also suffering from diabetes.

Dinampo said Sahiron has at least 70 followers who are also his relatives.

Based on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) website, Sahiron’s arrest or neutralization is still covered with the Rewards For Justice Program. The State Department is offering a reward of up to $1mil (RM4.4mil) for information leading to the arrest of Sahiron.

The FBI said Sahiron is wanted for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping of an American who was abducted in Sulu and was held captive for 23 days in 1993. - Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network

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