Military and police troops in Maguindanao have been placed on high alert, bracing for possible retaliatory assaults by the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID) and concurrent chief of Joint Task Force Central (JTFC), issued an alert to all field units in the province on Sunday to gear up for an attack by BIFF terrorists, who lost three men in twin clashes with the military this week in Barangay Dasawao, Shariff Saydona Mustapha town.
Two BIFF radicals and an Army soldier were killed in a confrontation on Thursday, while another BIFF combatant was slain in a clash around 2 PM on Saturday, according to Uy.
The murdered soldier, identified as Sgt. Jungie Dizon of the Army Scout Rangers Battalion, was one of the JTFC members sent to check on the presence of BIFF men.
“Residents of Dasawao village told military and police officials that the fleeing BIFF terrorists carried away their slain comrades,” Uy said.
He claimed that remnants of the BIFF were attempting to demonstrate that the surrender of more than 300 of their colleagues since late last year would not prevent them from continuing their Daesh-inspired struggle.
The terrorist group Islamic State/Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant/Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is known as Daesh in Arabic.
“They are few and we are not letting our guards down as we continue to intensify our campaign. In due time, they will be finished,” Uy said.
The remains of Dizon were flown to his hometown of Silos Murcia in Negros Occidental by a Philippine Air Force plane on Sunday morning.
To block any attempt by the BIFF, more military checkpoints have been erected up along important roads leading to Maguindanao.