Indonesian hostages holder surrenders to MNLF leader: Source
Published on: Sunday, August 16, 2020
By: Zam Yusa
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Kota Kinabalu: An Abu Sayyaf member Daily Express reported to have been holding five Indonesian hostages in Sulu has surrendered to a leader of a former rebel group in southern Philippines, a source said.

Tuan Annuh, said to be an ustaz, surrendered to Yusop Jikiri, a leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and former governor in Sulu province, said Ulta Levenia Nababan, a terrorism researcher at Jakarta-based think tank Galatea, told Daily Express.

Daily Express reported in June that the five Indonesian hostages, grabbed by armed men from their fishing boat off Tambisan Island waters in Lahad Datu in January, were held by Tuan Annuh and an Abu Sayyaf sub-leader, Majan Sahidjuan, in Barangay (Kampung or village) Kagay, Indanan, Sulu.

“The hostages are still held by Apo Mike,” said Ulta, referring to the alias used by Sahidjuan, who is among 21 Filipinos wanted by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) for transborder crimes.

On why Tuan Annuh surrendered to the MNLF instead of the Philippine Armed Forces (AFP) or police, Ulta said: “Surrendering to the MNLF’s Jikiri is still the best choice compared to the AFP, because if you surrender to the AFP, you need to proceed with the criminal records that you have, but if you surrender to Jikiri, it means you'll cooperate to eliminate the Abu Sayyaf. That's only my understanding after consulting with some contacts in the southern Philippines.”

Ulta also said the ransom negotiation for the release of the five hostages is currently “stuck”.

A regional Philippine military spokesman could not confirm Annuh’s surrender.

“No report as of this time,” Major Arvin Encinas, spokesperson of the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command, told Daily Express.

Encinas, however, has not responded to Daily Express’s request for confirmation on Annuh’s status as a hostage holder.

Daily Express cannot immediately establish whether there are arrest warrants against Annuh, who is the second Abu Sayyaf man to have reportedly surrendered to the former rebel group recently.

On Thursday, The Star reported Indang Susukan, a notorious Abu Sayyaf sub-leader wanted by the Philippines and Esscom for a series of kidnapping and hostage killing, surrendered to MNLF leader and founder Nur Misuari in April.

Susukan, whose real name is Abduljihad Susukan, was later turned over to the police at Misuari’s home in Davao city.


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