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Abu Sayyaf leader Sahiron not sincere in surrender feelers- Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Sulu-based Abu Sayyaf senior leader Radullan Sahiron doubts his sincerity in expressing interest to surrender to authorities early this year, an army general said on Wednesday.

'Medyo tainted yung sincerity ni Rod Sahiron (The sincerity of Rod Sahiron is somewhat tainted)). During the first quarter may feelers na lumapit sakin (I received some feelers), then I validated it hindi siya (and found out he was not) sincere,' Joint Task Force Sulu commander Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana told reporters.

Last April, Sobejana said Sahiron, believed to be in his mid-70s, indicated through an emissary that he wanted to surrender after supposedly being tired of moving from one place to another.

The US government has offered a bounty of $1 million for the arrest of Sahiron for his alleged involvement in the abduction of US citizens in Sulu in 1993.

Sobejana said some of the factors that led him to doubt Sahiron was 'his order to launch ambuscades on troop movements at any opportune time.'

But the army general said they have already intensified their focused military operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group.

'Our objective is to bring down their strength into an insignifcant level in order to bring peace, progress and development in Sulu,' he said.

Eleven battalions are now in Sulu to go after the terrorist group. Sobejana estimates about 400 Abu Sayyaf members remain in the remote island.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Dec 6, 2017
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