Wednesday Oct, 27 2021 07:46:09 AM

8 more BIFF members surrender in Maguindanao

Mindanao Peace Process • 12:00 PM Thu Oct 14, 2021
John M. Unson
The eight BIFF members are now in the custody of the 92nd Infantry Battalion in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao.  

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao - Eight more members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters surrendered Wednesday.

The BIFF, tagged in all deadly bombings in central Mindanao since 2013, operates in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said Thursday the eight BIFF members are led by Johar Palaguyan.

Palaguyan, also known as “Daran,” told reporters he and his companions bolted from the BIFF after learning that those who surrendered ahead of them have been reintroduced to mainstream society and are now thriving peacefully as farmers.

Palaguyan and his followers agreed to yield through the backchannel intercession of Lt. Col. Nathaniel Balintong of the 92nd Infantry Battalion, Brig. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio of the Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team and local officials in Maguindanao’s adjoining Datu Hoffer, Salibo and Shariff Aguak towns.

The group turned in a 60 millimeter mortar, three bolt-action 7.62 rifles, an M14 rifle, an M16 rifle, an Ultimax rifle and a rocket-propelled grenade.

“It’s good that they have decided to return to the fold of law. It is not too late yet,” Uy said.

Palaguyan and his seven followers renounced their membership with the BIFF and pledged allegiance to the government during a simple rite in Shariff Aguak town Wednesday.

More than 300 BIFF members have surrendered in batches to units of 6th ID since 2017, many of them now being returned to the local communities with the help of the Bangsamoro regional government and local executives in different towns in central Mindanao. (John Felix Unson)



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