Friday Apr, 10 2020 04:18:20 AM

3 BIFF yield to Army in North Cotabato

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 18:45 PM Sat Mar 21, 2020
Edwin O. Fernandez
Lt. Colonel Romel Valencia, commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Battalion told three members of outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) they made the right move when they voluntarily surrendered with their guns. (7th IB photo)

PIKIT, North Cotabato – Three members of IS-linked armed group surrendered to military authorities here on Friday bringing with them high powered firearms and rifle grenades.

The three members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) group belonged to Ustadz Karialan faction operating in the borders of Maguindanao and North Cotabato.

Lieutenant Colonel Romel Valencia, 7th Infantry Battalion commander based in Kabacan, North Cotabato said the three turned over a home-made cal. 50 Barret sniper’s rifle, one Rocket Propelled Grenade with one ammunition and one homemade M-79 Grenade launcher with two rounds of 40mm high explosive ammunition.

Their long desire to live normal lives and their dream of living with their families again forced them to abandon a lost cause and voluntarily surrendered.

“Maganda itong oportunidad ng gobyerno sa ilalim ni P. Duterte, baka sa susunod na gobyerno ay magbago at alisan kami ng pagkakataon na sumuko at magbagong buhay, mahirap na, kaya kami sumuko ngayon (Gov’t offer is good under Pres. Duterte, we might lose the opportunity to surrender if Duterte is out of office, thus we came forward today), Ali, one of the surrenderors, said.

Valencia said the 7th IB has already coordinated with the local government of Pikit, North Cotabato through Mayor Sumulong Sultan for inclusion of the three ex-BIFF members to the Expanded Comprehensive Local Integration Program (E-CLIP).

“Through this, more BIFF will hopefully come and surrender for the sake of their families,” Valencia said.

Brig. Gen. Robert S Capulong, 602nd Infantry Brigade, lauded the 7th IB troopers for pursuing the right path to peace for those who were duped to join a lost cause.

He directed Lt. Colonel Valencia to convince more BIFF in his area of assignment to surrender and avail of the government’s reconciliation program. 



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