CAMP S.K. PENDATUN, Maguindanao – A private armed group (PAG), led by a former town vice mayor, surrendered to officials of this regional police headquarters on Monday afternoon.
Brig. Gen. Eden T. Ugale, Police Regional Office–Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PRO-BARMM) director, identified the surrenderers as ex-Shariff Aguak vice mayor Datu Akmad Ampatuan, and his three followers identified as Abby Aguak, Pendatun U. Ampatuan, and Gani Macmod, all residents of Shariff Aguak town.
The surrenderers also yielded three M16 rifles and an M14 rifle.
The former vice mayor resigned from his post last year due to health reasons. His son, Amir Akmad S. Aguak, replaced him as vice mayor being the town’s top councilor.
Datu Akmad’s other son, Shariff Aguak Mayor Marop Ampatuan, accompanied him during the surrender rites.
“I am just overjoyed that my father has disbanded the group and surrendered to the authorities,” the mayor said in a phone interview Tuesday.
Ugale said Datu Akmad’s surrender is in accordance with the directives of the National Task Force on the Disbandment of Private Armed Groups and the program under the security aspect of the normalization track of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro that focuses on the disbandment of armed groups in the BARMM.
“Once again, we have managed to once facilitate the surrender of a private armed group,” the police official said.
He said the former vice mayor has expressed his desire to surrender to clear his name and to give peace a chance in Shariff Aguak and its neighboring towns.
“We are still processing their surrender as their group was earlier listed as a faction of the Dawlah Islamiya extremist group in the province,” Ugale said.
He assured that the government would support Datu Akmad and his group to start a new life following their surrender. (PNA)