CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – A Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) Commander together with 10 of his followers yielded to 33rd Infantry Battalion under the Joint Task Force Central at Barangay Kuloy, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao in close coordination with the community leaders on the morning of August 13, 2021.
Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin Cadiente Jr., Commanding Officer of 33IB, disclosed that the surrender happened with the assistance of Hon. Remmy Degay and Hon. Mohamad Dawaling, both Chairperson of barangays Kuloy and Tapikan, respectively of Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao. The former violent extremist also turned over one (1) 60mm Mortar, two (2) Caliber .30 Barret Rifle, one (1) M14 Rifle, two (2) Caliber .30 M1 Garand Rifle, one (1) Caliber 5.56mm M16 Rifle, one (1) Caliber .45 Pistol, one (1) Caliber .45 Thong Ram Submachine Gun, two (2) Improvised Explosive Devices, and ammunition of different calibers.
Colonel Pedro C. Balisi Jr., Commanding Officer of the 1st Mechanized Brigade said that the 11 former violent extremists belong to the BIFF-Karialan Faction. “The relentless military operations against the extremist group and the offer of the government for a peaceful life through the AGILA-HAVEN Program of the Province of Maguindanao paved the way for them to abandon violent extremism and return to the folds of the law,” Col. Balisi stressed.
Lt. Col. Cadiente further explained that the surrenderers were immediately brought to the Headquarters of 33IB in Brgy Zapakan, Rajah Buayan, Maguindanao for custodial debriefing and profiling prior to their endorsement to the Province of Maguindanao to avail of the livelihood packages and assistance under the AGILA-HAVEN Program.
Major General Juvymax Uy, Commander of JTF Central and 6th Infantry Division said that the recent surrender raised the total number of surrenderers since January 2021 to more than a hundred. “I commend the accomplishment of 33IB which contributes to our campaign against violent extremism and bringing us closer to the desire of the people of Maguindanao for a peaceful and progressive province” said Maj. Gen. Uy as he further stressed his optimism that through the partnership of the military, the LGUs, and the community, the remaining violent extremists particularly the BIFF and Daulah Islamiya will be ultimately defeated.