CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Two (2) extremist from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) – Karialan Faction, who reportedly took part in an attempted attack in the public market of Datu Paglas town, were killed in an armed clash with security forces from Joint Task Force Central on May 16, 2021, as government troops continuously hunt down the said group.
Brigadier General Roy Galido, Commander of 601st Infantry Brigade disclosed that combined forces of JTF Central sustained its efforts against the said extremist group in Barangay Mao, Datu Paglas, Maguindanao which led to an armed clash at around 5:50 in the morning of May 16 which lasted for about ten (10) minutes. The extremists withdraw in different directions and left the lifeless bodies of two of their members. Also seized during the firefight is one (1) M16 rifle, several 5.56mm ammunition and magazines, war materials, and food rations.
Since the failed attack of the BIFF-Karialan Faction in the market of Datu Paglas, Maguindanao last May 8, government forces from the JTF Central have been relentless in their pursuit operation to hunt down the said group and prevent them from attacking communities and town centers. As of this reporting, six (6) extremists have been killed, two (2) were arrested, several were reported to have been wounded, and 10 high powered firearms and 5 IEDs were seized; while no casualties have been reported on the side of the government forces and from the civilian populace.
As an outset of the atrocities of the BIFF-Karialan the faction who threatened the peaceful community of Datu Paglas, Maguindanao and other nearby towns, a total of 699 families were affected based on the report provided by the Office of the Civil Defense – BARMM and PDRRMO of Maguindanao Province. The Bangsamoro Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence (READi) under the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG), and the Provincial and Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices of Maguindanao Province provided food assistance to families affected in the Datu Paglas, Maguindanao and other nearby towns.
Major General Juvymax Uy, Commander of JTF Central and 6th Infantry Division expressed that JTF Central forces will continue to conduct sustained military operations against the BIFF to thwart them from conducting atrocities against the civilian populace. “While our troops continuously pursue them, I also call on the remaining BIFF extremists to surrender and lay down their arms. Numbers of former BIFF extremists have already returned to the folds of the law and are now enjoying a peaceful life with their families under the AGILA-HAVEN Program of the Province of Maguindanao,” Maj. Gen. Uy added.
No less than President Rodrigo Duterte, during his visit to 6ID, PA Headquarters last May 11, 2021, called for the active role of the local chief executives of BARMM and Maguindanao Province in addressing extremism in Central Mindanao. The Chief Executive appealed to the local officials and to the people of Maguindanao to help him in attaining peace in Central Mindanao before his term ends in 2022.