Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters' Commander Lapu-Lapu and his followers turned over their firearms to authorities. Unson
6 more BIFF members surrender to authorities
John Unson ( - October 12, 2018 - 4:38pm

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Six Islamic militants surrendered to the government Thursday and promised to reform for good.

Commander Lapu-Lapu of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and his five followers yielded voluntarily through the intercession of the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion and the inter-agency Maguindanao provincial peace and order council.

They turned over their firearms to Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu and senior Army officials during a simple surrender rite in Barangay Midconding in General Pendatun town in Maguindanao.   

More than 20 BIFF members surrendered to units of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division in Maguindanao and in North Cotabato in the past five months.

The BIFF, operating in the fashion of the Islamic State, has been trying to sabotage the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Those who surrendered early on are now being reintegrated into mainstream society by the office of Mangudadatu and line agencies of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

President Rodrigo Duterte is also helping the Maguindanao provincial government extend humanitarian interventions needed to hasten their assimilation into the local communities.

Five of the BIFF members who agreed to return to the fold of law last April were trained in fabrication of improvised explosive devices by the slain Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as "Marwan."

Thursday’s surrender rite was witnessed by Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc of the 33rd IB and senior officials of the Army’s 1st Mechanize Brigade and the 6th ID, which has jurisdiction over all Army units in central Mindanao.

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