6 BIFF gunmen yield in Maguindanao

Six more Dawlah Islamiya members in the province have decided to abandon extremism and joined the government to live normal lives, the military announced here Tuesday.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the surrenderers belonged to the Karialan faction of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), who decided to surrender to the Army’s 90th Infantry Battalion.

Pagalungan Mayor Salik Mamasabulod presented the surrenderers to Brig. Gen. Roberto Capulong, commander of 602nd Infantry Brigade at the town’s session hall.

They turned in high powered guns that included two M-14 rifles, a caliber. 30 M1 Garand rifle, a Carbine rifle, a locally-made cal. 50 Barret sniper rifle, and a rocket propelled grenade launcher with ammunition.

“I would like to thank our government troops who we considered as enemies but only to find out they are the ones who helped us to surrender peacefully,” one of the six surrenderers said in the dialect. “They helped us live normal lives and be with our families.”

“I will try to convince my colleagues too (to surrender),” another surrenderer, 38, said. “We are tired of running away from government soldiers, and we had nothing to eat in the marshland of Maguindanao.”

Uy said they will be enrolled in the government’s reintegration program before returning to mainstream society.

“We welcome these former BIFF members as they go to the mainstream society; our concerted efforts with the provincial government of Maguindanao will pave the way for the attainment of the lasting and genuine peace in this part of Mindanao,” Uy said.

Source: Philippines News agency

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