ILIGAN CITY (PIA) – Two former members of the Dawlah-Islamiya Maute Group have surrendered to authorities after about six years.
Alias Ahmad and Alias Orak were both residents of Lanao del Sur and were recruited in 2015. They were recruited when they visited their relatives in Butig town. According to them, they were convinced to join the group when they were told that they will receive a reward from heaven if they will fight for Islam.
The two former violent extremists said they also joined in the Marawi siege where they stayed in the battle zone for about three months. They escaped when there was a ceasefire between the governments to allow some residents to flee.
According to Iligan City Police Office Director Col. Dominador Estrada, the FVEs operated not just in Iligan City but also in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.
“Taga Lanao del Sur sila pero isa sa mga operations nila is kasama ang Iligan, Lanao del Norte at Lanao del Sur. Ang Iligan open arms an tinanggap sila para mabigyan sila ng pagkakataon na maenjoy ang normal na buhay hindi yung nagtatago o gumagawa ng hindi maganda,” he said.
[They are from Lanao del Sur but their area of operations includes Iligan, Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur. Iligan welcomed them with open arms to give them a chance to enjoy a normal life, not hiding or doing bad things.]
Mayor Frederick Siao said the surrender of the FVEs manifests that the efforts of the government to achieve peace were effective. He also assured the Philippine National Police that they are committed to ensure security in the city, especially with the month-long celebration of the Diyandi Festival.
“PNP is on top of everything. Karung adlawa nila gi-present ang duha ka-surrenderees to show to the whole nation we are ready for the month-long celebration,” he said.
[The PNP is on top of everything. Today they presented the two surrenderees to show the whole country that we are ready for the month-long celebration.]
They also surrendered their firearms which include one calibre 45 and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. They decided to withdraw allegiance to their group and return to the fold of law to start anew with their families.
The FVEs will also receive assistance through the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program of the Department of Interior and Local Government wherein they will receive initial cash assistance worth P15,000 and P50,000 livelihood assistance and firearms remuneration amounting to the value of turned-in firearms. (LELA/PIA-10-Lanao del Norte)