A HIGH-RANKING Abu Sayyaf terrorist leader and two other members surrendered to the military in Basilan province in the nation’s south on Saturday, according to a report from the Western Mindanao Command.

The military identified the terrorists as Khadaffy Kalitut, 17th in the periodic situation report list, and Aliman Langkasan and Jiyad Arabin under Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Nur Hassa. The three surrendered to the 18th Infantry Battalion.

The terrorists also yielded several firearms to authorities including an M16 rifle, Garand rifle and an M1 carbine.

“We are happy that most of the Abu Sayyaf members are now willing to work with us in our quest for peace,” military commander Lt. Colonel Ivan San Jose said in a statement. “They are longing for a good and progressive life with their loved ones.”

Village Chairman Ismael Dampol from Limbo-Upas, Tipo Tipo facilitated their surrender.

“With all the programs and projects we implemented to assist our brothers and sisters who decided to return to the mainstream society, we expect for more surrenderors in the coming days,” Lt. General Cirilito Sobejana, Commander of the Western Mindanao Command said in the statement.

Abu Sayyaf, the most violent extremist group in the Mindanao region, has used terror for profit and to promote its jihadist agenda, according to the US National Counterterrorism Center. It also engages in kidnapping for ransom, bombings, assassinations and extortions, it said. — Marc Wyxzel C. Dela Paz