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