A sub-commander of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) and 10 of his followers yielded in Maguindanao, the Army announced Saturday.
Lt. Col. Benjamin Cadiente Jr., Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion (IB) commander, said the surrender took place in Barangay Kuloy, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao on Friday afternoon.
“Village chairmen Remmy Degay and Mohamad Dawaling, of Barangays Kuloy and Tapikan, respectively, helped us in convincing the BIFF batch to surrender,” he said.
Citing security reasons, Cadiente declined to name the surrenderers but said they are members of the BIFF-Karialan faction.
The group also yielded a 60 mm mortar launcher, two .50 caliber Barrett sniper rifles, an M14 rifle, two Garand rifles, an M16 rifle, a Thompson submachine gun, two improvised explosive devices, and ammunition.
Cadiente said the relentless military operations against the extremist group pushed the BIFF batch to yield.
A certain alias Datu, one of the surrenderers, said the provincial government’s promise of giving them a chance for a peaceful life under the AGILA-HAVEN (Anak na may GInintuang Layunin upang Hintuan Ang Violent Extremism Ngayon) program further made them change their minds to abandon the futile BIFF cause and be with their families again.
“We really miss our families,” Datu, 33, said in the vernacular during a media interview.
Records from the Army’s 6th Infantry Division here showed that some 130 BIFF combatants had surrendered to military and police in Central Mindanao since January this year.