COTABATO CITY – Ten more combatants of the Daesh-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have abandoned their cause and decided to return to the fold of law to live normal lives again.
Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) commander, said the surrenderers belong to the BIFF Karialan faction operating in the marshlands of Maguindanao under the SPMS box.
The SPMS box is a military term referring to the adjoining towns of Shariff Aguak, Pagatin (Datu Saudi Ampatuan town), Mamasapano, and Shariff Saydona, all in Maguindanao, where the BIFF operate.
“They grew tired of running from intense military operations in the province and decided to surrender,” Uy said in an interview by reporters here on Thursday.
In simple ceremonies held on Wednesday afternoon at the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion in Barangay Zapakan of Rajah Buayan town, the surrenderers were formally presented before the 6ID commander and provincial government officials led by Governor Bai Mariam Sangki–Mangudadatu.
The surrenderers also gave up assorted firearms during the ceremony.
In the same event, the provincial government awarded the surrenderers with livelihood packages to start their new lives.
“This livelihood package is a great help for us to rebuild our lives again as peaceful civilians,” Abdullah, one of the surrenderers said in the vernacular during the ceremony.
Uy urged other BIFF members still fighting for their lost cause to surrender and feel the warm embrace of their families again.
“We will help you because your families are also longing for your return to them,” he said.
At least 150 BIFF combatants have surrendered to the 6ID in the past two years. Philippine News Agency