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Six members of BIFF operating in Maguindanao lay down their firearms and returned to the Fold of Law

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Camp Siongco, Maguindanao –  Amidst the occurrence of COVID-19, the 601st Brigade under the Joint Task Force Central continues its intensified collaboration with the local leaders in the area to entice lawless terror armed groups to lay down their firearms and return to the fold of the law. By embracing the way to peace, these lawless elements can contribute to the efforts of the government in fighting the spread of COVID-19 in the whole province.

Relative to this, another six (6) members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) under Bungos faction submitted themselves to 33rd Infantry Battalion and abandoned their worthless struggle under the extremist terrorist ideology on April 13, 2020 at about 10 o’clock this morning. Among the surrenderers were; Naldo Babalay, Nashrudin Kanapia, Abil Kusain, Dok Adam, Alamansa Manampad and Antok Pendatun. As a show of sincerity, they brought along with them the following high powered firearms: two (2) M14 rifles, one (1) cal .30 sniper rifle, one cal .50 sniper rifle, and two (2) M79 grenade launchers.

It was learned that through genuine commitment and comprehensive livelihood programs that were extended by the government to the previous surrenderers within the 601st Infantry Brigade area of operation, said individuals were convinced to lay their firearms and live a normal life together with their families.

“We expect a continuous influx of surrenderers in the unit area of operation as we sustain our campaign against the terrorist armed groups in collaboration with the different stakeholders in the area. We acknowledge the support of the local leaders in this period of crisis”, said by Lt. Col. Elmer M. Boongaling, the commanding officer of 33rd Infantry battalion.

It has been perceived that incessant numbers of terror armed groups from Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter and Dawlah Islamiah Turaiffe Group surrendered in 601st Infantry Brigade during the period of 1st quarter CY 2020 as the brigade continues to carry out its mandated mission in the unit area of responsibility notwithstanding the current fight against COVID19. The Bde’s effort is in consonance with the guidance set by Maj. Gen Diosdado C. Carreon, Commander, JTFC that JTFC shall be able to effectively fight in two fronts; fighting against COVID19 and fighting for peace in Central Mindanao in support to the lead agencies of the government.   

Col. Joel Q. Mamon, OIC, 601IBde said, “With this challenging situation brought about by the pandemic, it is our duties and responsibilities to sustain the peace and order in the area while we work together to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Maguindanao province”.

“Our desire is to persuade the BIFF members in the area, change their perspective and ideology in accordance with the true Islamic beliefs as we harness our efforts among the local officials and religious leaders”, he added.

Meanwhile, the surrenderers will undergo the custodial debriefing and processing and they will be endorsed to the provincial government of Maguindanao for appropriate livelihood assistance.  The mentioned firearms were at the Headquarters 33IB for safekeeping and proper disposition.”

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