Wednesday Jan, 27 2021 12:05:19 AM

Bangsamoro police reintroduces 3 BIFF men to society

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 10:00 AM Thu Nov 19, 2020
John M. Unson
Police Brig. Gen. Samuel Rodriguez provided the three bandits with initial relief and cash assistance last Monday. (Courtesy of PRO-BAR) 

MAGUINDANAO --- The three confessed bomb-couriers of an outlawed terror group who surrendered early this week are now being reintroduced to mainstream society, a regional police official said Thursday.

Brig. Gen. Samuel Rodriguez, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, said the three members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, or BIFF, have pledged allegiance to the government after renouncing their membership with the group.

The BIFF is also known as the Dawlah Islamiya, which has a reputation for bombing commercial establishments and public places to avenge the deaths of members in clashes with pursuing police and military forces.

Led by radical clerics and tagged in all deadly bombings in central Mindanao in recent years, the BIFF, which has three factions, operates in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

“The three of them are now being ushered back into the local communities where they originally belong,” Rodriguez said Thursday.

The three BIFF bandits, all from Maguindanao province, turned themselves in during a simple rite at PRO-BAR’s headquarters in Camp SK Pendatun in Parang town in Maguindanao on Monday.

They decided to return to the fold of law through the intercession of senior PRO-BAR officials, among them intelligence operatives, and local executives in Maguindanao, where there is strong BIFF presence.

They turned in explosives and components for improvised explosive devices that can be set off from a distance using mobile phones.

More than 200 BIFF members have earlier yielded in batches since 2017 to the Army’s 6th Infantry Division that also covers Maguindanao and neighboring provinces in central Mindanao.

The commander of 6th ID, Army Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, and Rodriguez, who assumed as Bangsamoro police director just few weeks ago, are now cooperating in securing the surrender of more BIFF bandits through backdoor efforts.  


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