Combined elements of the 33rd Infantry Battalion, 4th Special Action Battalion, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-ARMM and Maguindanao Provincial Police Office proceeded to Makainis Village in General Salipada K. Pendatun to receive five BIFF members who voluntarily surrendered to the government around 10am of January 12.
The surrenderors belong to the BIFF faction led by Commander Mayogantong Bansil, a notorious rebel who had been involved in several atrocities against government troops and the civilian population.
Accordingly, Commander Mayogantong sent surrender feelers after knowing the presence of security forces in the adjacent town of Paglat some 5 kilometers away.
Mayogantong contacted LtC Cabunoc to confirm his willingness to lay down his arms.
“I am afraid that the AFP will launch offensives against our group”, said Mayogantong.
Mayogantong and his men surrendered four high powered firearms including a Cal. 50 Sniper Rifle, two M1 Garand Rifles, and a 40mm M79 Grenade Launcher. The surrendered weapons will be presented to Brigadier General Robert Dauz, the Commander of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, the unit that has operational control over the 33rd Infantry Battalion.
Brigadier General Dauz commended the operating troops for the latest feat in the campaign against terrorism and violent extremism.
“You have shown the expertise in handling the security threats without incurring casualties. Share these best practices in the conduct of operations to all Army units in Central Mindanao,” said Brigadier General Dauz, who earned his first star last week.
Major General Cirilito E. Sobejana, the Commander of the Joint Task Force Central, said that the BIFF terrorists have nowhere to hide.
“We have won the support of the people in Central Mindanao. The people themselves have voluntarily provided information about the hiding places of the terrorists,” said Major General Sobejana.
The 33rd Infantry Battalion has facilitated the surrender of various threat groups both in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat through the effective employment of combat operations, community engagements, and civil affairs activities.
Since February 2017, the unit has successfully facilitated the surrender of 203 communist rebels and 32 Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, setting a benchmark in the conduct of military operations in a ‘two front war’ against distinct threat groups.
“May these five surrenderors inspire their comrades to yield to the government forces and begin living peacefully with their love ones,” said WestMinCom chief, Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega.