Military optimistic of more BIFF terrorists would soon surrender
The latest to surrender from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters were seven terrorists who yielded February 15 through the intercession of local officials in Guindulungan, Maguindanao and the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion.
Philstar.com/John Unson

Military optimistic of more BIFF terrorists would soon surrender

John Unson (Philstar.com) - February 19, 2021 - 6:09pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — The military is expecting the surrender soon of more members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters due to its continuing anti-terror operations in central Mindanao.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said Friday local government units in the adjoining Maguindanao and North Cotabato Cotabato provinces and units of 6th ID have, in fact, intensified backdoor talks with BIFF members who have signified willingness to yield and pledge allegiance to the government.

“They are feeling the heat obviously,” Uy said.

Personnel of different 6th ID component-battalions cleared from BIFF occupation last Sunday, after a brief clash, a hideout of terrorists in Sitio Pinotpot in Barangay Ahan in Guindulungan, Maguindanao.  

The camp had foxholes and makeshift shelters where soldiers found firearms and improvised explosive devices.

The 6th ID Public Affairs Office said soldiers took over another BIFF encampment in Sitio Manub in Barangay Macalag in Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao a day later.

“Our units learned of the exact locations of these BIFF hideouts via tips from vigilant residents of Guindulungan and Datu Hoffer municipalities and from former BIFF members who have surrendered recently,” Uy said.

Seven BIFF members voluntarily yielded to the 6th ID in a simple rite on February 15 in Barangay Midtimbang, Guindulungan through the intercession of municipal officials and the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion.

“We’ve been receiving persistent feedback from BIFF insiders that they have been getting so much pressure as a result of the continuing calibrated anti-terror operations of 6th ID,” Uy said.

No fewer than 200 BIFF members surrendered to the 6th ID in batches since late 2016.

A number of BIFF bandits also returned to the fold of law in recent weeks through the efforts of Brig Gen. Samuel Rodriguez, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

“We are optimistic of securing the surrender of more BIFF members this year,” Uy said.

The BIFF, also known as the Dawlah Islamiya, is operating in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The group has three factions whose leaders are all wanted for deadly bomb attacks in central Mindanao and other acts of terror.

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