CAMP SIONGCO, Awang, DOS, Maguindanao del Norte – Six members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters or BIFF – Karialan Faction surrendered to the government at the headquarters of the 1st Mechanized Brigade in Camp Leono, Brgy Kalandagan, Tacurong City.
The six former BIFF Combatants surrendered to Lt. Col. Jayson Domingo, the commanding officer of the 1st Mechanized Battalion.
The six also surrendered their weapons and explosives which included a 60mm Mortar, an M16A1 Rifle, a Garand Rifle, a Cal .30 Carbine Rifle, an RPG and an Improvised Explosive Device.
At 10:30 am on January 15, 2023, the former BIFF combatants were presented to Brigadier General Pedro Balisi Jr, Commander, 1Mech Bde, Armor Div, PA with Cong. Mohamad “Tong” P Paglas, Representative, 2nd District Maguindanao Del Sur; Atty Cyrus E Torreña, Maguindanao Del Sur, Provincial Administrator; and Mr Roger D Dionisio, Agila Haven Focal Person at Camp Leono in a simple program.
Financial assistance was immediately given to those who surrendered and they also received a sack of rice as an initial aid to them.
“We are overjoyed to learn that local government entities and the public in the Joint Task Force Central area are committed to playing an active part in the effort to completely exterminate extremist groups. Indeed, our efforts to resolve local terrorism pave the way through the support of our local government units from Maguindanao”, Brig. Gen. Balisi said.
Those who surrendered insisted that they could no longer bear the hunger and hardships of running and avoiding the government troops, in addition to the fact that they had heard of the more powerful military weapons of the soldiers that would be used against them.
“We want to change our lives. We see the new life of our former colleagues who were the first to convert to our government and their lives are more peaceful and orderly”, said one of the former extremist groups.
Major General Roy M Galido, Commander of the 6th Infantry (Kampilan) Division and Joint Task Force Central was happy with the surrender of the six. At the same time, the General is calling on some other BIFF members to return to the government and embrace the peace offered by the government. “You are just a victim of deception and misinformation, that’s why your army and our government are here to help you and get you back on the right path”, said Maj. Gen. Galido.