One (1) Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) sub-commander under Karialan faction and nine (9) of his members who surrendered to the troops of the 601st Infantry Brigade in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao were presented to Joint Task Force Central/6th Infantry Division Commander Major General Cirilito E. Sobejana by 601st Brigade Commander Brigadier General Diosdado C. Carreon at the Officer’s Club House of the 6th Infantry Division in Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao yesterday (February 3, 2019).
Commander Gani Saligan, 4th Brigade Commander of 2nd Division, BIFF and his followers namely; Rafael Asim, Ksain Bantilan, Alex Datungan, Aladin Saligan, Longs Bantilan, Elmer Mangatog, Alan Saligan, Muhammid Maslamama, and Kanaw Maslamama submitted themselves to the government forces on February 1, bringing along with them their high-powered firearms including one 50 Caliber Barret rifle, Ultimax 5.56mm rifle, M14 rifle, and 45 Caliber pistol with assorted magazines and ammunitions.
“I want to live a peaceful life with my family. There are promises from our leadership that did not happen,” said Saligan.
“Even our organization has its problems, particularly the leadership,” Saligan added.
“The surrender of the rebels is a breakthrough in countering violent extremism considering that there are still members of the outlawed group who desired to return to the folds of law,” Major General Sobejana said.
“We encourage other members of the BIFF as this is a good opportunity for them to live a better life and eye-opener that the soldiers will not hurt them, but instead, we will provide a necessary assistance and care to include health services.”
“We will help the surrenderors to go back to their normal lives by assisting them in getting livelihood opportunities through the local government. Each individual initially received 10,000 pesos as assistance from the provincial government of Maguindanao.”
“We will also ensure their safety and security as these people won’t be lured to join the rebel group again,” Major General Sobejana added.
As of this date, a total of 53 BIFF members surrendered to the 6th Infantry Division.
“I commend the troops of the Joint Task Force Central under MGen Sobejana for their unfaltering campaign against terrorism in their area of operation,” said Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“Though there are unexpected circumstances that disrupt our mission, the Armed Forces is still gaining grounds in our intensified operations against radicalism and terrorism,” he added.