CAMP SIONGCO, Awang, DOS, Maguindanao – A total of 15 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, local terrorist groups operating in Central Mindanao laid down their arms and returned to the folds of the law in a separate place under the jurisdiction of 602nd Infantry (Liberator) Brigade on May 20, 2022.
Major General Juvymax Uy, outgoing Commander of Joint Task Force Central and 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division said that the massive surrender of local terrorists was facilitated by the 602nd Infantry Brigade Commander led by Colonel Jovencio F Gonzales Inf (GSC) PA. “Naniniwala ako na ang patuloy na pagsuko ng mga BIFF ay malaking dagok sa kanilang grupo, dahil dito nalalapit na ang kanilang pagbagsak”, MGen. Uy, said.
Seven (7) members of the BIFF-Karialan Faction voluntarily surrendered to Lt. Col. Rommel Mundala Inf (GSC), Commanding Officer of 90IB. They were presented to Col. Gonzales and Hon. Sumolong Sultan, Mayor of Pikit at Municipal Hall, Brgy Fort Pikit, Pikit, North Cotabato, around 9:00 in the morning.
Meanwhile, another eight members of BIFF surrendered to 90IB in Pagalungan, Maguindanao. Out of these numbers, six (6) were members of the Bungos Faction while the two of their fellows were members of the Karialan Faction. Lt. Col. Mundala presented the former combatants to Hon. Salik Mamasabulod, Mayor of Pagalungan Maguindanao represented by Hon. Abdilah G Mamasabulod Vice Mayor, Pagalungan, Maguindanao at Sangguniang Bayan Hall, Brgy Poblacion, Pagalungan, Maguindanao, around 11:00 in the morning of the same day.
The 15 former BIFF extremists brought along high-powered firearms and various war materials which include two Garand rifles, two carbine rifles, three M14 Barrett Rifles, and two.50 Caliber Barret Rifle, M203 Grenade Launcher, one homemade RPG, one homemade M79 launcher, one hand grenade, two IED anti-tank, one IED 81 mortar, and various ammunition.
In his statement, Col. Gonzales said, “our troops from Liberator Brigade continue to bolster our civil-military cooperation efforts with partner stakeholders to put an end to terrorism in our area of responsibility thus, as your Brigade Commander I urge and convince the remaining terrorists, BIFF, and other lawless elements to end their armed struggle and return to the mainstream society.”
Likewise, MGen. Uy lauded the efforts of 90IB, 602nd Brigade, LGU of Pikit in North Cotabato, LGU of Pagalungan in Maguindanao, including the community leaders of the said towns in supporting such endeavors as tantamount to a well and peaceful place. “The influx of surrender of the BIFF Terror Group is a huge setback to the mainstream BIFF thereby, those who surfaced could have been encouraged because they saw that a lot of their comrades have surrendered”, MGen. Uy explained.
The surrenderers are now undergoing custodial debriefing prior to enrolment under the Maguindanao’s peace initiative program dubbed as “Anak Na May GInintuang Layunin, Upang Hintuan Ang Violent Extremism Ngayon” (AGILA-HAVEN) Program and DIWATA-HAVEN of North Cotabato which provides support to surrendered local terrorist group.