CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – The sustained focused military operations of Joint Task Force Central had forced to surrender seven (7) extremists from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) including their field commander in Maguindanao. These former rebels were presented to Colonel Pedro Balisi, Commanding Officer of 1st Mechanized Brigade in Barangay Kamasi, Ampatuan, Maguindanao on July 26, 2021.
The surrenderees brought along their firearms which includes two (2) M14 Rifles, one (1) M16 Rifle, one (1) .50 Caliber Barret Sniper Rifle, one (1) Garrand Rifle, one (1) M79 Grenade Launcher, one (1) RPG Launcher, and several ammunition and magazines.
“Hindi na namin makayanan ang patuloy na pagtugis sa amin ng mga sundalo. Hirap, pagod at gutom na rin ang aming naranasan sa patuloy na pagtatago sa pwersa ng militar” one of the former extremists said.
Col. Balisi stressed that the recent surrender of BIFF members only shows that the extremist group continues to weaken. “These former extremists were exhausted and demoralized by the intensified military offensives against them. This only proves that the security landscape in the area is changing and we are able to sustain the momentum against these groups”, Col. Balisi further stated.
Major General Juvymax Uy, 6th ID and Joint Task Force Central Commander said that more BIFF Combatants have grown tired of the lies and propaganda of their leaders and were already disgruntled. “Rest assured that we will continue to intensify the conduct of focused military operations against the remaining members of these extremist groups to ensure the safety and security of the people of Maguindanao”, MGen. Uy said.
“The continued surrender and disarmament of these extremist groups are also made possible through the “AGILA-HAVEN” program of the provincial government of Maguindanao. These former extremists returned to the government and to the community because they now trust the government’s program. They have experienced hunger and hardship while being hunted down by the government hence, they went back to the folds of the law to experience a peaceful life and be reunited with their families,” the Commander of JTF Central said.