On January 6, 2022, 14 Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) fighters surrendered to Joint Task Force Central forces in Barangay Salunayan, Midsayap, Cotabato.
The surrender, according to Major General Juvymax Uy, is part of the 6th Infantry Division’s effort to put an end to violent extremism in Central Mindanao before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends.
“This is part of the President’s marching order and JTF Central and 6ID forces are dedicated to achieve this. We have achieved major accomplishments last year and we are committed to protect the communities against any threats,” Maj. Gen. Uy added.
Twelve of the combatants are adults, while two are minors, according to Lieutenant Colonel Edgardo L. Vilchez Jr., the Commanding Officer of 34th Infantry Battalion (34IB).
“The success of this surrender was made possible through the joint efforts of the military, PNP, other law enforcement agencies and the local community in the area. Through close collaboration with each other, our efforts are coordinated in encouraging BIFF and Daulah Islamiya members to return to the folds of the law,” said Ltc. Vilchez Jr.
Colonel Jovencio F. Gonzales, commander of the 602nd Infantry Brigade, praised the efforts of the 34IB, the local PNP, and the Midsayap local government unit in facilitating the surrender.
“One (1) former BIFF combatant surrendered surrendered yesterday and today we have another 14 surrenderers. Hopefully this realization amongst the ranks of the BIFF and Daulah Islamiya will continue,” Col. Gonzales added.
The surrenderers also handed over seven firearms, including an M16 rifle, an M1 Garand rifle, an M14 rifle, two Cal.50 modified Barret sniper rifles, one 7.62mm modified Barret sniper rifle, and one Cal.45 Pistol, as well as various calibers of ammunition.
Maj. Gen. Uy expressed his gratitude to 34IB, the local PNP, and the local government unit for their contributions to this success.
“Let us continue working hand in hand to successfully thwart these terror groups from creating atrocities in this nation and further encouraging them to return to the folds of the law. Rest assured, the JTFC will never stop in hunting down those violent extremists who refuses to live a peaceful and continues to threaten our communities,” said Maj. Gen. Uy.