Military and police forces have been placed on heightened alert here as they brace for possible retaliatory attacks from the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao.
Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division (6ID) and concurrent chief of Joint Task Force Central (JTFC), alerted all field units in the province on Sunday to prevent anticipated attacks by BIFF terrorists, who lost three men in twin clashes with the military in Barangay Dasawao, Shariff Saydona Mustapha town this week.
On Thursday, two BIFF radicals and an Army soldier were killed after an encounter while another BIFF combatant was killed at a 2 p.m. clash on Saturday, Uy said.
The slain soldier, identified as Sgt. Jungie Dizon of the Army Scout Rangers Battalion, was among the members of JTFC deployed to check on the presence of BIFF men.
“Residents of Dasawao village told military and police officials that the fleeing BIFF terrorists carried away their slain comrades,” Uy said.
He said remnants of the BIFF were trying to show that the surrender of their more than 300 comrades since late last year will not prevent them from continuing their Daesh-inspired struggle.
Daesh is the Arabic name of terrorist group Islamic State/Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant/Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“They are few and we are not letting our guards down as we continue to intensify our campaign. In due time, they will be finished,” Uy said.
The 6ID sent off Sunday morning the remains of Dizon to his hometown in Silos Murcia in Negros Occidental via a Philippine Air Force plane.
More military checkpoints have been set up along major roads going to Maguindanao to thwart any attempt by the BIFF.