COTABATO CITY: Five members of the Daesh-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) yielded to military authorities in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat on Sunday.
Major Gen. Diosdado Carreon, Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) chief, identified the surrenderers as Haris Marohom, Amer Sanday, Mindo Abdullah, Marvin Guima, and Casim Sanday–all members of the BIFF–Kiram Abdullah faction.
The five submitted themselves before military and police officials at the 603Bde headquarters in Barangay Tibpuan, Lebak, Sultan Kudarat.
“All five surrenderers are followers of Kiram Abdullah who earlier surrendered to the government last July 17, 2020, in Ampatuan, Maguindanao together with four other followers,” Carreon said in a report Monday.
The surrenderers yielded one .30-caliber sniper rifle, two .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifles, and one anti-personnel mine weighing eight kilograms with components and a triggering device.
Carreon lauded the government troops for the continuous surrender of local terrorist group members in the 6ID’s area of responsibility.
“We are now reaping the fruits of your hard work and sacrifices,” he told the soldiers of the 6ID in a statement.
Also on Sunday, a communist rebel was killed while a soldier was wounded after a clash in the periphery of Mt. Payong-Payong, Palimbang town of Sultan Kudarat.
Carreon said the wounded soldier was brought to the 6ID headquarters’ Camp Siongco Station Hospital in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.
He said government troops were responding to a report from officials of upland Barangay Baluan, Palimbang on the presence of an undetermined number of New People’s Army (NPA) guerillas in their area around 6 a.m. when a firefight took place.
The rebels later withdrew to the thickly forested section of Mt. Payong-Payong and splintered into smaller groups. “Military pursuit operations are still ongoing,” Carreon said.
Government troops recovered at the encounter the remains of the still-unidentified NPA fighter, an M16 rifle, one bandolier, and six magazines.