THREE ranking leaders and four followers of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) surrendered to government authorities in the province of Maguindanao del Sur, the military reported Friday, March 17, 2023.

Major General Alex Rillera, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Central commander, said the successful surrender of the seven BIFF members on Wednesday, March 15 was facilitated by Lieutenant Colonel Michael Glenn Manansala, 6th Infantry Battalion (IB) commander.

They submitted themselves and handed over their firearms at the 6IB headquarters in Sitio Landing Fish, Buayan village, Datu Piang, Maguindanao del Sur.

The firearms they turned over include one rocket-propelled grenade launcher, two caliber .50 Sniper rifles, one M653 5.56-millimeter rifle, one Springfield caliber .30 rifle, and two caliber .30 M1 Garand rifles.

Manansala identified the BIFF surrenderers through their aliases Diaw, the deputy for internal affairs; Ebs, the deputy brigade commander; Arif, the operations officer; and four other followers. They belong to the BIFF-Karialan faction.

The BIFF surrenderers were subsequently presented to Brigadier General Oriel Pangcog, 601st Infantry Brigade commander, and Datu Piang Mayor Victor Samama.

On March 8, four members of the BIFF-Karialan Faction also surrendered to the troops of the 7th Infantry Battalion in Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Roy Galido, commander of Western Mindanao Command, attributed the influx of surrenders to the collaborative efforts of the military, police, local government units, other government and non-government agencies, and other sectors of society.

“We continue to reap the fruits of our unified efforts to end terrorism through the employment of the whole-of-nation approach. Let us continue to work hand-in-hand to end terrorism and insurgency here in Mindanao,” Galido said. (SunStar Zamboanga)