ZAMBOANGA CITY – Eleven members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) -Karialan Faction surrendered to the military in Datu Piang, Maguindanao, the Armed Force of the Philippines- Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) reported Saturday, February 6.
AFP-WestMinCom Commander Lt Gen Corleto Vinluan, Jr. said the 11 BIFF members surrendered to soldiers of the 6th Infantry Battalion (IB) at Sitio Landing Fish, Barangay Buayan, Datu Piang at around 8 a.m.
Vinluan said the 11 BIFF militants handed over their respective rifles to include one M653 A1, two M16 A1s, one M16 A3, one BAR, one Improvised Cal. 50 Sniper, one Improvised Cal. 30 Sniper, one Cal. 30 Garand, two M14s, one Homemade Grenade Launcher, and one 40mm M79.
According to the surrenderers, one of the reasons why they decided to give up was they miss their families and wish to live a peaceful life with them, Vinluan said.
“One of the 11 BIFF who surrendered became emotional as he was narrating how he joined the group while his son was still small and now he already has grandchildren,” Lt. Col. Charlie Banaag, Commanding Officer of the 6th IB said.
During the initial debriefing, the BIFF gunmen also revealed that they were tired of hiding and they lack financial support hence their surrender, according to Vinluan.
“The eleven are the 1st batch of BIFF members who surrendered to the 6IB this year and we are optimistic that more will come as we continue our peace campaign,” Vinluan added