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10 more Muslim rebels surrender to the government

September 1, 2021

AMPATUAN, Maguindanao – It seems the program of the Duterte administration is working as more Muslim rebels surrender to the government and yield their firearms and ammos. This time, twelve of the muslim extremist group who were operating under the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) command have returned to the fold of the law yesterday (August 30). Colonel Pedro Balisi, commander of the Army’s 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade (1MIBde) told reporters that the rebels have surrendered at their headquarters in Barangay Kamasi, Ampatuan, this province. “They (surrenderers) made the right choice as they are fighting a futile cause,” Balisi said in an interview. The army official, however, did not identify the surrenderees for their safety while their surrender is still officially being processed especially on the benefits they can get from the government. Balisi said the group belongs to the BIFF-Burgos faction. They have turned over their arms during a fitting surrender ceremony, including an M16 rifle, two M14 rifles, two homemade .50 caliber sniper rifles, two .30 caliber sniper rifles, three rocket-propelled grenade launchers, two improvised explosive devices, explosives, and ammunition. Alias Sudan, one of those who surrendered to the government said they are tired of fighting in the mountains of Maguindanao, and they've been hiding ever since they joined the group, as government forces have been pursuing them. “We were further disappointed upon learning that we were duped as they promised to pay us a huge amount monthly (but) it never happened,” Sudan told PNA in a phone patch interview. It was learned that the 10 surrenderees are now undergoing custodial debriefing , while their livelihoods are being processed by the Shariff Saydona Mustapha town government. 150 "disgruntled" members of the BIFF have already surrendered since January, this year. - PNA      

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Mother, daughter nabbed for 'shabu'

September 1, 2021

PARANG, Maguindanao - A mother and her daughter were arrested Sunday by police operatives, for possession of illegal drugs. Major Christopher Cabugwang, police chief of Parang town identified the suspects as Bae Malayda Mariga, 51, and her daughter Ungal Mariga, 29, both residents of Barangay Gadungan. Major Cabugwang, the police probers said, personally handed down the warrant of arrest against the two suspects who did not resist arrest, it was learned.     However, the police official said the team failed to arrest the primary suspect identified as a certain Ibrahim Mariga, 30 during the serving of the warrant. The said suspect eluded arrest as he escaped upon seeing the approaching lawmen in the area. The police operatives who were mandated to arrest the main suspects were armed with a warrant of arrest prepared by Judge Kasan Abdulrakman of the Regional Trial Court Branch 27. “We remain positive to get the primary suspect soon,” Cabugwang said in an interview with reporters yesterday. The police official added that the raiding team seized from both the mother and her daughter two mid-sized packets of the suspected shabu with an estimated street value of P25,000, including shabu paraphernalia. The two suspects are now detained at the police station awaiting the filing of formal charges against them in court. (PNA)  

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10 BIFF extremist rebels surrender in Maguindanao

August 28, 2021

BARMM Region – The program of the Duterte administration continues to yield results as more rebels surrendered to the government this year, the military announced Wednesday. Colonel Pedro Balisi, commander of the Army's 1st Mechanized Brigade, told reporters 10 more members of the rebel-group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters have returned to the fold of the law, bringing the total surrenderees to 130, the report said. During a simple ceremony, both Col Balisi and Datu Saudi Ampatuan Mayor Edris Sindatok, welcome the 10 surrenderees at the military headquarters in Barangay Kamasi, Ampatuan town, this province. The police official said the rebel-returnees turned over a caliber .50 Barrett sniper rifle, a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, one M16 rifle, one M1 Carbine rifle, two Garand rifles – and ammunition. “The latest batch of surrenderers was convinced to lay down their arms by former comrades who earlier yielded and are now living normal lives with their families,” Balisi told reporters. The military official, however, did not name the rebel-returnees for security reasons. A certain Ahmad, one of the surrenderees told the media that they finally decide to return to the fold of the law as they are tired of fighting and hiding in the hinterland barangays. The rebel confirmed, his group is operating in the towns of Shariff Aguak, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Mamasapano, and Shariff Saydona Mustapha, all in Maguindanao. “We saw the benefits of the government programs that were being enjoyed by our comrades who earlier yielded, prompting us to abandon the BIFF struggle to be reunited with our loved ones,” Ahmad said in an ambush interview. - PNA            

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ARMY OFFICIAL TO MAUTE REBEL GROUP: "Surrender or get killed"

August 28, 2021

LANAO DEL SUR - “We will never stop or even delay pursuing them. The only option they have is to surrender; otherwise, they will be slain and destroyed in our series of military operations.” This was the strongest warning made by Lieutenant Colonel Fernando Payapaya, commanding officer of the 51st Infantry Battalion based in this province. Payapaya and his men were among the highly-trained combat operation warriors in the hunt of the remnants of the Maute Brothers who were killed in their failed attempt to get Marawi City under their command and control. The failed attempt of said terrorist group supported by Dawlah Islamiyah was also due to strong resistance of the Duterte administration's high morale Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the PNP organization.   On August 21, Colonel Payapaya and his men encountered more than 30 members of Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute Group (DI-MG) in a 3-hour exchange of bullets in the mountains between Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte. The DI-MG was a splinter group, who were remnants of the killed Maute brothers, hiding in Lanao provinces. During said encounter, the military has reported no casualty on the government side. The rebel group retreated to the outskirts of Lanao provinces as the ground troops were also supported by their air artillery and fighter planes of the Philippine Air Force.   Brig. Gen. Jose Maria Cuerpo, 103rd Infantry Brigade and JTG HARIBON commander added that the highly-trained and special forces of the 51st Infantry Battalion have also encountered the terror group on August 15th led by a certain Abubakar aka Abu Zacaria. “We have received reports from the residents on the presence of the armed group, and the military units operating within the area responded quickly to the reports,” Gen. Cuerpo reported. Meanwhile, Major General Gene M. Ponio, the 1ID and JTF ZAMPELAN commander, challenged and urged the people to report to the police or military any suspicious-looking people that may only disrupt the peace and prosperity in their respective barangays. “We assure   the public that we will respond to their call 24/7 to secure and protect them from any threats and to sustain the peace and progress in our area of responsibility,” Ponio concluded.    

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4 Bangsamoro rebels surrender in Maguindanao

August 20, 2021

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – They wanted to reunite with their families again and they returned to the fold of the law. The military announced Thursday (August 19) the surrender of four combatants of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) but declined to comment on the identities of the surrenderees for security reasons. Major General Juvymax Uy, commander of the Philippine Army's  6th Infantry Division, said the four rebels were members of a BIFF faction, Kagui Karialan, operating in the outskirts between Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao provinces. Uy said: “They yielded on Wednesday afternoon through the efforts of the Army’s 92nd Infantry Battalion and local leaders in Datu Hoffer Ampatuan town in Maguindanao.” The army official said as part of their program for surrenderees, the four former rebels would be introduced to mainstream society through various government agencies and programs. During a fitting ceremony held at the military headquarters in Shariff Aguak, the rebel returnees turned over to Brig Gen Ignatius Patrimonio assorted firearms, including four assorted high-powered assault rifles, one Ultimax light machinegun, and ammunition. Abdul, one of the four muslim rebels who surrender, said they've been planning to surrender a long time ago because they want to be reunited with their respective families again. “We have a lot of catching up to do with our families. We have not seen them for the past several years,” Abdul pointed out, adding that he would never return again to a life of lawlessness. The military record showed that since January, this year, there were already 120 members of the BIFF moro rebels who have surrendered as they felt a very hard life in the underground movement. - PNA

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Island Province of Tawi-tawi gets 8000 residents vaccinated with Janssen vax

July 26, 2021

TAWI-TAWI - The government is very serious in protecting the Filipinos from the threats of covid-19 including its dangerous mutations, as vaccinations have already reached even the farthest island of Tawi-tawi, reports reaching MDNN said yesterday. Dr Bashary Latiph of the BARMM's Ministry of Health told reporters that there are now a total of 8000 residents in the island that received the single dose of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine. “Considering its distance from mainland Mindanao, the national government has earlier made the vaccine allocation for the farthermost province of BARMM,” Dr. Bashary told reporters on Monday. The initial batch of Janssen vax, according to the MOH official, was rolled out on July 23, and 8000 of the 231,776 residents of the island province have been vaccinated. The doctor also said that the municipalities of Sitangkai, Mapun island, Turtle Island and all borders of Malaysia, as well as some of Indonesia's Island, will be the next target of the vaccination. “We have to strengthen the immune system of constituents in the island municipalities of Tawi-Tawi amid fortified border control measures to prevent the entry of the dreaded Delta variant from the neighboring southern countries, especially Indonesia, which has already become the new epicenter of virus surpassing India,” he stressed. At presstime, the neighboring countries of Indonesia and Malaysia have been hit by massive surge of the deadly coronavirus disease (covid-19) In the Philippines, health authorities reported a total of 119 Delta variant have now been detected raising fears among residents in areas hit.    

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