By Edwin Fernandez
CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao: Six members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) under the Kagui Karialan faction have surrendered to authorities.
Brig. Gen. Roberto Capulong, 602nd Infantry Brigade commander, said Thursday the group surrendered to Col. Rommel Mundala, commanding officer of 90th Infantry Battalion in Pagalungan, Maguindanao.
“They yielded on Wednesday afternoon citing futility in fighting for a lost cause,” Capulong said.
Capulong, citing documents, identified the six gunmen through their aliases as Alex, Kaliya, Bernie, Nasser, Abdul Adjes and Datu.
All of them were formerly operating in the boundaries of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat provinces, he said.
The group also turned in one M16 rifle, two M14 rifles, and three rocket-propelled grenade launchers with ammunition.
In an interview with reporters here, Kaliya said they grew tired of always on the run, anticipating that government forces would catch up on them anytime.
“In most cases, we resort to committing crimes such as banditry for survival,” he said.
Pagalungan Mayor Salik Mamasabulod welcomed the former BIFF combatants, extending initial cash and rice assistance to the group.
He said the Pagalungan town government is ready to help those who wanted to surrender and restart a new life with their families.
To date, some 150 ex-BIFF combatants have surrendered in Central Mindanao under the Army’s 6th Infantry Division area of operation in Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and South Cotabato.
Philippine News Agency