COTABATO CITY – Saying they are tired of running away from government forces, 13 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) surrendered Wednesday with their firearms to military authorities in Maguindanao and North Cotabato provinces.
Lt. Colonel Nathaniel Balintong, the Army’s 92nd Infantry Battalion commander, presented the 13 BIFF members to Maj. Gen. Roy Galido, commander of the 6th Infantry Division, during surrender rites at the 1st Brigade Combat Team headquarters in Barangay Pigcalagan in Sultan Kudarat town, Maguindanao.
“These surrenderers belonged to the BIFF Bongos faction operating in North Cotabato and Maguindanao,” Balintong said.
Seven of the surrenderers were from Midsayap, North Cotabato, while the six others came from Sultan Kudarat.
“We decided to yield because of continuous military operations against us; besides, we want to live peacefully with our families,” one of the surrenderers said in the vernacular.
Galido appealed to other BIFF members still in the marshlands of Maguindanao and North Cotabato to follow suit and live normal lives.
After their surrender, the BIFF batch received food aid and financial assistance from the local governments of Midsayap and Sultan Kudarat as well as from the Maguindanao provincial government. (PNA)