Saturday Jun, 15 2024 06:25:22 PM

8 local terrorists group members yield to Army in MagNorte

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 19:30 PM Fri May 24, 2024
6th ID news release

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao del Norte – Due to intensified and decisive military operations, as well as hunger and exhaustion from continuous hiding in the mountains, eight former members of local terrorist groups have decided to surrender to the government.

The eight individuals presented themselves at the headquarters of the 57th Infantry (Masikap) Battalion in Brgy. Mirab, Upi, Maguindanao del Norte.

They were warmly received by Lt. Col. Guillermo T. Mabute Jr., the commanding officer of the 57IB. According to the Battalion Commander, those who surrendered were members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, including one member of the Karialan Faction and seven members of the Bungos Faction.

Lt. Col. Mabute presented the Former Violent Extremists (FVEs) to Brigadier General Michael A. Santos PA, Commander of the 603rd Persuader Brigade, during a short ceremony where surrenderers were presented and provided with immediate assistance. The event was attended by Local Chief Executives (LCEs) from Upi, Maguindanao del Norte; South Upi and Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur; the Agila-Haven Focal Person; Chiefs of Police from the three municipalities; the Minister of Ministry of Indigenous People Affairs (MFA), BARMM; and Indigenous Peoples (IP) leaders in the battalion's area of operations.

"These FVEs were on our list, and their decision to return to the fold of the law and renounce armed struggle is a welcome development. This step provides them with the opportunity to start anew," said Brig. Gen. Santos.

The surrendering individuals also handed over their weapons, including: One 7.62mm M14 Rifle, One 7.62mm SLR Rifle, One Cal .30 M1 Garand Rifle, One Cal .30 M2 Carbine Rifle, One Cal .45 Pistol, One 9mm Uzi-type Pistol, One Rocket-Propelled Grenade, Two M79 Grenade Launchers, Four 12-gauge Shotguns, Two Improvised Explosive Devices with detonating cords, Various magazines and ammunition.

"These BIFF personalities were involved in multiple atrocities within the 57IB's area, including bombings, harassment of military patrol bases, ambushes, and planting IEDs," Brig. Gen. Santos added.

Major General Alex S. Rillera, commander of the 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division and Joint Task Force Central, lauded the decision of the FVEs to surrender and commended the efforts of the 57IB, Upi officials, and other stakeholders who facilitated this significant development. "We are grateful you denounced the BIFF and cut your support with them. You also surrendered tools and devices used in perpetrating violence. Rest assured, this act will never be put to waste," said Maj. Gen. Rillera.

"No matter how big the efforts you exert serving your leaders in the local terrorist group, you will never feel the real victory. It will only be felt when you are already living peacefully with your family and helping each other achieve the dreams you once had," the division commander concluded.

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