Tuesday Mar, 21 2023 03:48:54 PM

44 BIFF men back to fold of law

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 20:00 PM Tue Dec 13, 2022
John M. Unson
 The group yielded Sunday and pledged allegiance to the government. (From 6th ID)

COTABATO CITY – A group of 44 local terrorists, seven of them experts in fabrication of bombs, surrendered to the Army Sunday.

Four of the 44 members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, who renounced their membership with the group in a symbolic rite in Kabacan town in Cotabato, are commanders, according to local officials. 

The group, seven of them well-versed in manufacturing improvised explosive devices, agreed to avail of the reconciliation program for religious extremists of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division via the intercession of officials of the 90th Infantry Battalion and the 602nd Infantry Brigade. 

Major Gen. Roy Galido, commander of 6th ID, told reporters Tuesday local officials in Kabacan, Cotabato and in the nearby Pagalungan and Montawal towns, both in Maguindanao, helped convince the 44 BIFF members to surrender and get reintegrated into the local communities. 

They turned in assault rifles, eight 9 millimeter machine pistols, B40 rocket launchers and anti-tank rockets, 40 millimeter grenade launchers, two vintage 7.62 Mauser bolt-action rifles, five .45 caliber pistols and components for improvised explosive devices before they pledged allegiance to the government in the presence of local executives.   

The BIFF and its allies, the Al-Khobar and the Dawlah Islamiya, together tagged in deadly bombings in central Mindanao in recent years, are known for fomenting hatred for non-Muslims. 

Officials of the 90th IB and Col. Donald Gumiran, commander of the Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade, declined to reveal the names of the 44 BIFF members pending their relocation to safe areas. 

The BIFF is known for venting ire on members who have surrendered and their families. 

More than 200 members of the BIFF, the Dawlah Islamiya and the Al-khobar have surrendered in batches to units of 6th ID in the past 10 months. 


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