4 BIFF members surrender as Army’s ‘relentless focused’ military operations intensified

Photo courtesy of WesMinCom, AFP

Four members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters surrendered in Maguindanao on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.

“Due to the relentless focused military operations of our troops in central Mindanao, most of the terrorists are already starving hence they choose to surrender,” said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of Western Mindanao Command.

According to the surrendered individuals, the military’s series of offensives forced them to conclude that they had no choice but to surrender or perish fighting a futile battle.

At around 11 AM on that day, the four members of the BIFF-Bungos Faction surrendered to the men of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion.

“They handed over their firearm including one US cal. 50HB machine gun, one R4A3 Carbine with M203 grenade launcher, one cal. 30 Carbine, and one 7.62mm sniper rifle,” said 1Mech Bn Commander Lt. Col. Cresencio Sanchez, Jr.

Subject personalities were subsequently presented to Col. Pedro Balisi, Jr., Commander of 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, and Shariff Aguak Mayor Marop Ampatuan at the unit headquarters in Barangay Kamasi, Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

“The influx of BIFF surrenders is a testament to the dwindling of the group. We expect that more terrorists will lay down their arms in the coming days as we bolster our offensives on the area,” said Col. Balisi, Jr.

The four are currently being debriefed in custody at the headquarters of the 1Mech Bde.

Meanwhile, Commander of Joint Task Force Central Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy asked the remaining BIFF members to surrender and take advantage of the government’s reintegration initiatives.

“Now is the best time for you to surrender,” said Maj. Gen. Uy.

It may be noted that the group’s deputy commander and six members surrendered in Maguindanao on Monday.

“The offensives of the Joint Task Force Central will continue despite the mounting number of BIFF members who are now deciding to return to the folds of the law,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr.

“Rest assured that all our operations adhere to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws,” the commander added.

JTF Central has neutralized a total of 145 BIFF persons since January 2021, with 69 killed, 74 surrendered, and two captured.

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