Kato's group dwindling: Leonen-A A +A
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
MANILA -- Followers of Ameril Umbra Kato and his Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement/Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFM/BIFF) have been declining, government official said.
Government of the Philippines panel chief Marvic Leonen told reporters Monday night that it was very clear that the BIFM/BIFF has lost momentum after the military forces recently overran the group's hideout in one of the hills in Camp Omar in Maguindanao province.
"The BIFF (fighters) significantly dwindled. They don't have a base (anymore)," he said.
He said that the Muslim community does not support Kato's group and even the MILF had helped the government in tracking down the lawless elements.
Leonen also noted that during the military raid of the BIFF's hideout, the government troops recovered Kato's wheelchair and some of his medical equipment.
"So Kato is still alive definitely. We are looking at the information about what his participation was in terms of leading the attacks," he added, referring on the simultaneous raids that the BIFF made in Army detachments in Maguindanao and North Cotabato last month.
Kato formed his own group after it broke away with the MILF late last year.
The MILF Central Committee led by its chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim tried to reach out to Kato and his group and asked them to go back to the folds of the MILF, but they refused to heed the call.
This prompted the MILF leadership to disown them. (SDR/Sunnex)