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