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Government promptly provides cash assistance to the 23 surrendered BIFF

Government cash assistance to surrendered BIFF

CAMP SIONGCO, Awang, DOS, Maguindanao — The Maguindanao Provincial Government immediately extended financial assistance to 23 former Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) combatants who surrendered to various units under the 601st Infantry (Unifier) Brigade stationed in Brgy. Kamasi, Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

Atty. Cyrus Torreña, the Administrative Officer of the province of Maguindanao who represented Maguindanao Governor Bai Mariam Mangudadatu, gave financial assistance and a sack of rice to the surrendered BIFF in a presentation program held at the headquarters of the 601st Brigade on September 24, 2022.

Atty. Torreña stated that “the voluntary surrender of these former BIFF combatants in the 601st Brigade under the leadership of Colonel Oriel L Pangcog, Commander of 601st Infantry Brigade, is a great contribution for the public to know that Maguindanao is gradually achieving a long-lasting peace and that our government will not stop as long as there is still a group that destroys the tranquility and peaceful living of the people in the province.”

Furthermore, according to Colonel Pangcog, among the surrendered BIFFs are eight (8) from the 33rd Infantry (Makabayan) Battalion and nine (9) from the 2nd Mechanized Infantry (Makasag) Battalion, which are led by Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Cadiente and Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Nadala, respectively. The remaining six (6) BIFFs were turned-in themselves to a special unit under the aforementioned Brigade.

Government cash assistance to surrendered BIFF

Among the surrendered BIFFs were their Field Commander and members of the BIFF 1st Division. They also surrendered their weapons, which included 5.56mm rifles, Caliber.30 Garand rifles, Caliber.50 Sniper Rifles, 7.62mm rifles, M14 rifles, and many others.

Colonel Pangcog welcomed the voluntary surrender of BIFF members from the two groups of commander Esmael Abubakar alias Bungos and commander Muhiddin Animbang alias Karialan. “Your army is always open to welcome you once you decide to live peacefully,” said Col. Pangcog as he paid tribute to the soldiers from the 33IB and 2nd Mechanized Battalion for these efforts and other sectors, while he equally thanked the local governments from Sultan Sa Barongis, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Shariff Aguak, Mamasapano, and Talayan towns of Maguindanao who provided immediate assistance for our brothers and sisters who returned to our government.

“We are grateful that you condemned the BIFF and finally severed your ties with them,” said Major General Roy M. Galido, Commander of the 6th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Central. “You also surrendered tools and devices used against the army and police. Rest assured that this kind of act will never be put to waste. We want nothing but peace and development in Central and South-Central Mindanao, especially here in Maguindanao. We can only do this with your help,” MGen. Galido explained.

As a result, 185 BIFFs have turned themselves into various JTF Central units since the beginning of January, as of the time this report was being written.

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