Joint efforts of gov’t troops led to surge of BIFF surrender in Maguindanao

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A total of 16 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) on Saturday, January 15, 2022, agreed to lay down their arms and surrender to government troops in Barangay Meta, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao.

According to Lt. Col. Nathaniel Balintong, Commanding Officer of the 92nd Infantry Battalion, seven former BIFF rebels from the Karialan Faction and nine from the Bungos Faction surrendered to government forces thanks to the combined efforts of the 92nd Infantry Battalion and police units from RIU15, CIDG BARMM, and the Maguindanao Provincial Police Office.

Lt. Col. Balintong and Police Lt. Col. Alexander Butuan formally presented the 16 former BIFF members with their firearms to Brigadier General Ignatius Patrimonio, Brigade Commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team at Headquarters 92IB, Hill 150, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao.

Present throughout the event was Hon. Datu Pandag Ampatuan, Municipal Councilor of Datu Hoffer representing Datu Hoffer LGU and Hon. Unson Demaguil, Executive Secretary of the Municipal Mayor of Datu Salibo.

The firearms and war materials surrendered includes seven Cal.30 M1 Garand Rifle, one 5.56mm Sniper Rifle, one 7.62mm Sniper Rifle, one 7.62mm M14 Rifle, one Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG-2), one converted 7.62mm Rifle, two .50 Cal Barrett Rifles, one Improvised Grenade, and one Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

The commander of Joint Task Force Central and the 6th Infantry Division, Major General Juvymax Uy, praised the cooperation of military, police, and local government units engaged in the surrender’s success.

“The surge of surrender only indicates that the security landscape in the area is changing as more BIFF members are returning to the folds of law. Rest assured that the JTF Central will continue to strengthen our civil-military relationships and intensify the conduct of offensive operations against the remaining members of the BIFF to ensure the safety and security of the people of Central Mindanao,” Maj. Gen. Uy added.

The surrenderers will be enrolled in the Maguindanao Province’s AGILA-HAVEN Program and will receive livelihood aid to enable them begin their new and peaceful lives in the mainstream society.

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