A LEADER and a follower of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter-Karialan Faction (BIFF-KF) were killed in a clash with government forces in Sultan Kudarat, the military reported Sunday, February 19, 2023.

Major Alex Rillera, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Central commander, said the clash happened Saturday, February 18, in Purok Yellow Bell in New Isabela village, Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat.

Rillera identified the slain BIFF-KF leader as Abdulkarem Lumbatan Hasim, alias Boy Jacket; and his cohort, Makmod Lumbatan, alias Mahmod Capunlo.

Brigadier General Pedro Balisi Jr., commander of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, said the clash broke out after Hasim opened fire prompting the troops to return fire while the government forces were about to serve a warrant of arrest against the slain BIFF-KF leader.

Balisi said that Hasim has existing warrants of arrest for double murder and multiple frustrated murder for his involvement in various atrocities.

Hasim worked under Yusa Ganoy, alias Minimi, the 2nd Division Commander of the BIFF. He was the most active Field Commander of BIFF-KF in the area.

Colonel Richard Verceles, operations chief of the Area Police Command, said Hasim was involved in the ambush-slay of Lieutenant Reynaldo Samson, then police chief of Ampatuan, Maguindanao on August 30, 2022, in Kapinpilan village.

Two other policemen were killed while three others were wounded during the ambush.

Hasim and his group were also involved in a series of attacks on patrol bases of the 601st Infantry Brigade in Datu Hoper and Datu Salibo towns in Maguindanao del Sur.

The troops recovered at the clash site a motorcycle, a caliber .45 pistol with live ammunition, a smartphone and an analog cellular phone.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Roy Galido, commander of the Western Mindanao Command, commended the military and police forces for the neutralization of Hasim, a notorious BIFF field commander.

“Your armed forces, together with other law enforcement agencies, will continue to intensify the conduct of law enforcement operations to thwart the terror ploys of the enemies,” Galido said. (SunStar Zamboanga)