Three members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have surrendered to authorities in Maguindanao, the military here announced Monday.
The three BIFF members voluntarily surrendered to the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion (57IB) in Sitio Iking, Barangay Romongaob, South Upi, Maguindanao on Sunday.
Col. Eduardo Gubat, Army’s 603rd Infantry Brigade commander, said those who surrendered to the 57IB belonged to the BIFF-Bungos Faction.
“The government’s peace program is certainly effective in influencing them to denounce their affiliation with the terror group,” Gubat told reporters here in an interview.
They brought with them one M1 Garand rifle, a Carbine rifle, a caliber .45 pistol and assorted ammunition.
“Our efforts in attaining peace in this part of the country is fruitful as evidenced by the significant increase of terrorist group members who surrendered to the government,” said Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander and Joint Task Force Central chief.
Abdullah, one of the surrenderers, said they just wanted to be with their families again. “I just want to see my children. I have not seen them for a long time,” he told reporters in the vernacular during a phone interview.
Since September last year, some 120 former BIFF and Dawlah Islamiya extremists have denounced their allegiance with the terror groups and opted to live normal lives with the help of the government that provided them a livelihood package.
The Maguindanao provincial government has been extending aid to former extremist group members to reintegrate them into society and become productive citizens.