BIFF field commander, members lay down arms in North Cotabato

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A field commander and 13 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters-Karialan Faction yielded to the military in North Cotabato on February 14, 2022.

According to Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr., Commander of Western Mindanao Command, the 14 BIFF personalities submitted themselves to Col. Jovencio Gonzales, Commander of the 602nd Infantry Brigade, and Lt. Col. Edgardo Vilchez, Jr., Commanding Officer of the 34th Infantry Battalion at the battalion headquarters in Barangay Salunayan, Midsayap, North Cotabato Monday morning.

One of the 14 surrendered personalities surrendered to Col. Gonzales at 8:30 in the morning, February 14. He handed over one rocket-propelled grenade and one M1 Garand rifle. He was subsequently presented to Northern Kabuntalan Mayor Ramil Umbra Dilangalen.

Col. Gonzales said the surrender was facilitated by the 34IB, Northern Kabuntalan PNP, and the intelligence units.

Meanwhile, at about 10:30 a.m., same day, 13 more BIFF including a field commander surrendered to Col. Gonzales. The former violent extremists were accompanied by Norodin Akis and Dong Bantas, members of the Council of Elders of Midsayap. The 13 handed over seven M1 Garand rifles, one Springfield cal. 30 Sniper rifle, one M14 rifle with magazine, one M16 rifle with magazine, three cal. 45 pistols with magazines, 50 rounds of cal. 30 ammunition, nine rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 13 rounds of 6.56mm ammunition, seven rounds of cal. 45 ammunition, and seven clip Garand magazines.

The 13 former violent extremists were formally presented to Midsayap Mayor Romeo Araña. They also underwent custodial debriefing conducted by the 34IB.
Col. Gonzales attributed the successful surrender of the 13 BIFF personalities to the troops of the 34IB, Midsayap PNP, and the intelligence operatives.

For security reasons, the identities of the surrendered personalities are withheld. Surrendered firearms were deposited at the 34IB supply room for safekeeping.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Commander of Joint Task Force Central commended the peacemaking initiatives of the 34IB. He also vowed to assist the former violent extremists in their reintegration into mainstream society.

For the first two months of 2022, a total of 64 BIFF personalities have surrendered to the government forces in Central Mindanao.

“Our efforts compel more militants to just give up their fight and start anew. Rest assured that our campaign to end terrorism will never falter,” said Lt. Gen. Rosario, Jr.

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