A new batch of six Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) combatants on December 28, 2020 withdrew their membership from BIFF, an extremist group affiliated with the Karialan faction, and surrendered to the 90th Infantry (BIGKIS LAHI) Battalion and Pagalungan Municipal Station in Pagalungan, Maguindanao.
In a humble ceremony at Municipal Hall, Brgy. Poblacion, Pagalungan town, these former extremists were delivered to BGen. Roberto Capulong, Commander of 602Bde, and Hon. Salik Mamasabulod, Municipal Mayor of Pagalungan.
Two M14 Rifles, one Garand Rifle, one 5.56 mm Carbine, one locally produced Cal 50 Barret Sniper Rifle, and one RPG with ammo were among the surrendered guns provided by the surrenderers.
“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa tropa ng pamahalaan dahil hindi nila kami tinuring na mga kalaban, sa halip ay tinulungan pa kami na magbagong buhay,” one of the former extremists said.
They said that a previous group of colleagues who had surrendered to the military had persuaded them to attempt the government’s surrendering rebels program.
“Pagod at hirap na ang aming kalagayan sa bundok, wala na kaming makain at wala ding suporta sa amin. Dagdag pa dito ang patuloy na pagtugis ng mga sundalo sa amin”, they said.
The frequent influxes of BIFF surrenders are the result of Maguindanao Governor Bai Mariam Sangki Mangudadatu’s “AGILA-HAVEN” initiative or “Malasakit ng AGILA.” Before returning to normal society, all of these BIFF surrenderees would be enrolled in this program as a psychosocial intervention.
Major General Juvymax R. Uy, Commander of 6th Infantry (KAMPILAN) Division, said, “We welcomed these former BIFF members as they go to the mainstream society; our concerted efforts with the Provincial Local Government of Maguindanao will pave the way for the attainment of the lasting genuine peace in this part of Mindanao”.