3 former BIFF men to return to their villages after surrender
In this file photo, three former BIFF members receive initial relief supplies and cash assistance from Brig. Gen. Samuel Rodriguez after they surrendered to the Bangsamoro police command.
via The STAR/John Unson

3 former BIFF men to return to their villages after surrender

John Unson (Philstar.com) - November 19, 2020 - 7:59am

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — The three men whom police said confessed to being bomb couriers of an outlawed terror group and surrendered early this week are now being reintroduced to mainstream society, a regional police official said Thursday.

Police Brig. Gen. Samuel Rodriguez, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, said the three members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, or BIFF, have pledged allegiance to the government after renouncing their membership in the group.

The BIFF is also known as the Dawlah Islamiya, which has a reputation for bombing commercial establishments and public places to avenge the deaths of members in clashes with pursuing police and military forces.

Led by radical clerics and tagged by authorities in all deadly bombings in central Mindanao in recent years, the BIFF operates in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

"The three of them are now being ushered back into the local communities where they originally belong," Rodriguez said Thursday.

The three BIFF bandits, all from Maguindanao province, turned themselves in during a simple rite at PRO-BAR’s headquarters in Camp SK Pendatun in Parang town in Maguindanao on Monday.

They decided to return to the fold of law through the intercession of senior PRO-BAR officials, among them intelligence operatives, and local executives in Maguindanao, where there is strong BIFF presence.

They turned in explosives and components for improvised explosive devices.

More than 200 BIFF members have yielded in batches since 2017 to the Army’s 6th Infantry Division that also covers Maguindanao and neighboring provinces in central Mindanao.

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