ZAMBOANGA CITY – Two minor combatants and 49 supporters and couriers of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maute Group (DI-MG) surrendered to government troops in Lanao del Sur, military officials said Tuesday.
Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said the surrenderers gave themselves up Monday at the headquarters of the Army’s 51st Infantry Battalion in the Lanao del Sur town of Piagapo.
Rosario said the two Islamic State for Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-inspired DI-MG combatants who surrendered are minors. They were only identified as a certain Paris and Akmad, both 17-years-old and residents of Piagapo.
In a statement Tuesday, Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo II, the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade commander, attributed the DI-MG’s mass surrender to the “intensified combat operations and the unwavering support from the local government unit and the populace.”
Last month, troops under the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade overran the camp of Faharudin Hadji Satar alias Abu Zakaria in Barangay Ilalag, Maguing, Lanao del Sur. Satar is the new self-declared emir of the ISIS in Southeast Asia.
Cuerpo said Paris and Akmad yielded a Garand rifle and a caliber .45 pistol, while two of the 49 supporters also handed over two Garand rifles.
“This is their chance to renew their lives and reshape their future. Rest assured that we will watch their back and guide them as they reintegrate into mainstream society,” Rosario said of the surrenderers. (PNA)