COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 06 July) – Three alleged members of the “Akmad Ampatuan” private armed group on Tuesday surrendered to the police regional office of the Bangsamoro Region together with their long high-powered firearms.
BGen Eden Ugale, regional police commander identified those who surrendered at Camp Salipada K. Pendatun in Parang, Maguindanao as Abby Aguak, Pendatun Ampatuan and Gani Macmod.
Ugale said the surrenderees yielded three M-16 rifles and an M-14 rifle.
He said the surrender came after a series of negotiation.
He added that Datu Akmad Ampatuan, a former mayor of Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao and alleged leader of the armed group, had expressed a desire to surrender, too. He was elected as vice mayor but recently resigned.
Datu Akmad was known as a trusted bodyguard of the late Maguindanao governor Andal Ampatuan Sr., a close relative, but later turned against his patron after he stood as prime witness in the 2009 Ampatuan Massacre.
“It will greatly contribute to the realization of peace and security in the region,” Ugale said of Datu Akmad’s plan to surrender.
Datu Akmad survived two bloody ambuscades which left him badly injured.
The Police Regional Office said it is focusing on the disbandment of private armed groups in line with the normalization track under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
Ugale assured that surrenderees will receive support from the government to enable them to start a new life. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera/MindaNews)