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12 more Dawlah terrorists surrender in South Cotabato

COTABATO CITY — Local executives lauded on Friday the Army’s 5th Special Forces Battalion and the 6th Infantry Division for securing the surrender via backchannel talks of 12 more members of the Dawlah Islamiya from different towns in South Cotabato.

Major Gen. Alex Rillera, 6th ID commander, told reporters in Cotabato City on Friday that the group surrendered on Monday via a simple rite at the headquarters of the 5th SF Battalion in Barangay Kablon in Tupi town in South Cotabato.

“They have pledged allegiance to the Philippine flag,” Rillera said.

Mahdi Macmod, Azis Makategel, Sorahben Makategel, Anwar Solaiman, Asraf Solaiman, Hamid Mangudalat, Mahater Mangudalat, Moner Alongan, Said Udhag, Mocsin Lao, Nasser Talik, and Rakinem Camsa first turned in assorted firearms and improvised explosive devices that can be detonated from a distance using mobile phones before they renounced their membership with the Dawlah Islamiya in the presence of officials of the 5th SF Battalion and local executives.

Senior members of the South Cotabato Provincial Peace and Order Council, led by Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr., and North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza separately told reporters on Friday that they were elated over the return to the fold of law of the 12 Dawlah Islamiya members. 

Five of the 12 men had confessed to having worked for commanders involved in coercive collection of monthly “protection money” from owners of passenger vehicles and business establishments in central Mindanao.

“It is pleasing to know that these men agreed to surrender through the joint intercession of units of the 6th ID and local government units in South Cotabato,” Taliño-Mendoza, chairperson of the multi-sector, inter-agency Regional Development Council-12, said.

Rillera said officials of the 5th SF Battalion and the 6th ID shall cooperate, along with LGUs in South Cotabato, in reintroducing the 12 former Dawlah Islamiya members to mainstream society.

No fewer than 400 members of the allies Dawlah Islamiya, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Al-Khobar, tagged in all deadly bombings in central Mindanao since 2014, have surrendered to different units under 6th ID with the help of