Camp Siongco, Maguindanao – Soldiers from the Joint Task Force Central has captured two of the most notorious armed lawless group leaders believed to be responsible for the series of atrocities, extortion, and murder of innocent civilians in Central Mindanao.
Montukan Bungay and Walo Bungay, also known as the Bungay Brothers and leaders of the Bungay armed lawless group, they are listed as two of the most wanted persons in Region 12 having numerous Warrants of Arrests filed against them. Both suspects were captured by troops from the 602nd Infantry Brigade on Sunday early morning (May 30, 2021) in the marshy area of Brgy. Bualan, Pikit, North Cotabato.
The Commander of 602nd Infantry Brigade, Brigadier General Roberto Capulong, disclosed that a six-hour running gun battle ensued between the soldiers and the armed followers of the Bungay Brothers that eventually led to their capture and the seizure of two (2) M16 rifles, one (1) cal.45 pistol, and several ammunitions and war materials.
“Our forces are in the area as part of the JTF Central’s intensified combat operations against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters – Karialan Faction who has been the subject of our sustained pursuit operation. Based on the reports from the ground, the armed lawless group of the Bungay Brothers harbored the group of Karialan who has been evading government forces,” BGen Capulong added.
It can be recalled that the BIFF-Karialan Faction has been the target of the military’s manhunt for conducting series of atrocities in Barangay Kitango, Datu Saudi Ampatuan last March 2021 and the failed attack at the Public Market of Datu Paglas, Maguindanao last May 8.
Major General Juvymax Uy, Commander of the JTF Central and 6th Infantry Division, expressed that the capture of Montukan and Walo Bungay is a major accomplishment for the peace, order, and security in Region 12 due to the relentless efforts of our security forces.
“With the capture of the Bungos brothers, we are optimistic that we will gain more grounds and soon clear Central Mindanao from any armed lawless and extremist groups,” he said, adding that the extremist BIFF group under Karialan and other armed lawless groups that cuddle the extremist groups are on the back foot with a number of them being neutralized.
The captured suspects are now under the custody of the Philippine National Police for proper documentation and disposition.