16 more BIFF men, Abu terrorist in BARMM surrender

John Unson - Philstar.com
16 more BIFF men, Abu terrorist in BARMM surrender
The 16 followers of long wanted Kagui Karialan of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters turned in assorted firearms before they pledged allegiance to the government on Thursday in Mamasapano, Maguindanao del Sur.
Philstar.com / John Unson

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Sixteen followers of a senior leader of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters wanted for 36 high-profile criminal cases in different courts surrendered to the military, a regional Army official said.

Major Gen. Alex Rillera, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division covering five provinces and four cities in central Mindanao, told reporters Saturday the 16 henchmen of BIFF leader Kagui Karialan yielded Thursday through the intercession of officials of the 6th Infantry Battalion and the 601st Infantry Brigade.

The 16 BIFF members turned in assault rifles and a 60 millimeter mortar before they signed a manifesto promising to respect the government during a surrender rite in Mamasapano town in Maguindanao del Sur in the Bangsamoro region, where they also sang the national anthem.

Rillera said the group agreed to surrender after having been assured by Army officials in Maguindanao del Sur that the more than 200 BIFF members who surrendered to units of 6th ID in batches in the past 12 months are now thriving peacefully in their respective hometowns as farmers through the efforts of different government agencies.

The 16 followers of Karialan turned themselves in to 6th IB's commander, Lt. Col. Michael Glenn Manansala, just a day after a ranking member of the Abu Sayyaf surrendered to Mayor Roderick Furigay in Lamitan City in Basilan.

Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, told reporters Saturday the Abu Sayyaf member turned in a .30 caliber M1 Garand rifle to Lamitan City Mayor Roderick Furigay before he renounced his membership with the group.

Nobleza declined to identify the Abu Sayyaf member for his safety owing to the group’s reputation for attacking members who have surrendered and their relatives.

In a report Friday to Nobleza’s office in Camp SK Pendatun in Parang town in Maguindanao del Norte, the surrenderer, a Yakan, was quoted by the Lamitan City Police Station as saying he decided to reform for good after realizing that their city government is serious in its programs meant to improve the lives of violent religious extremists who have pledged allegiance to the government.

“Local government units indeed play a very important role in ushering members of local terrorist groups back to mainstream society,” Nobleza said.

Nobleza said he admires how the office of Basilan Mayor Jim Salliman and his constituent-mayors are supporting the efforts of the Basilan Provincial Police Office and units of the military’s Western Mindanao Command to clear the island province from Abu Sayyaf presence.

Furigay said their feats in addressing religious extremism in Lamitan City were achieved with the help of Salliman and BARMM's Ministry of the Interior and Local Government under the lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, who is chairman of PRO-BAR's multi-sector Regional Advisory Group.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with