CAMP SIONGCO, MAGUINDANAO – Just a day after 10 BIFF extremists surrendered to JTF Central, another set of six (6) Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter extremists surrender anew to Joint Task Force Central (JTF Central) on the morning of August 25, 2021 in Maguindanao, continuously changing the security landscape in Central Mindanao.
Lt. Col. Charlie Banaag, Commanding Officer of 6th Infantry Battalion, presented the 6 former violent extremists to Col. Pedro Balisi, Commander of 1st Mechanized Brigade at Headquarters 1st Mechanized Brigade, Barangay Kamasi, Ampatuan, Maguindanao. He identified the former violent extremists as Aratok Silongan, Aladin Kuntong, Haime Guinaid, Ton-Ton Guinaid, Pagal Sape, and Datu Ali Kalagyo who are all members of BIFF-Bungos Faction.
“We are fed up with our situation and with the lies of our Commanders in the BIFF. We are already tired and we want to live a normal life with our families,” expressed by one of the surrenderers.
Col. Balisi conveyed his gratitude to Hon. Dr. Solaiman M Sandigan, Municipal Mayor of Datu Salibo, Maguindanao and to Datu Renz Tukuran, a former Moro Islamic Liberation Front Commander for facilitating the voluntary surrender of 6 former BIFF extremists under Bungos Faction.
“What transpired today is a clear manifestation that the partnership of the security forces, local government units, and the members of the community are crucial in attaining the long-aspired peace in Central Mindanao,” Col. Balisi stressed.
Further, nine (9) high powered firearms and crew-served weapons were surrendered to the security forces which includes one (1) 60mm Mortar, three (3) M16 A1 Rifles, one (1) Cal .30 M1 Garand Rifle, one (1) Springfield Rifle, one (1) Rocket-Propelled Grenade, one (1) locally made Cal .50 Barret Sniper Rifle, and one (1) M79 Grenade Launcher.
Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Commander of JTF Central and 6th Infantry Division, lauded the efforts of JTF Central Forces along with the local government units and peace loving community of Central Mindanao.
“Our partnership has proven that we can achieve greater heights in our quests for a peaceful and developed Central Mindanao,” said Maj. Gen Uy, highlighting the significance of AGILA-HAVEN Program of the Province of Maguindanao in enticing violent extremists to return to the folds of the law.
“We would like to assure the public that your JTF Central will continue to hunt down the remnants of these violent extremist groups and will not let our guards down in protecting the Filipino people. Likewise we are also calling on the remnants of the BIFF and Daulah Islamiya extremists who are still hiding to peacefully surrender to the government. We have the AGILA-HAVEN Program that will take care of your needs in living a normal and peaceful life with your family,” Maj. Gen. Uy further explained.
Currently, the surrenderers are undergoing custodial debriefing and processing of their livelihood assistance at Headquarters 6IB while their surrendered firearms and crew-served weapons were deposited at the same headquarters prior to its decommissioning.