BIFF explosive expert killed in shootout with troops

AN EXPLOSIVE expert of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) was killed in a brief shootout with government forces in the province of North Cotabato.

Major General Arnel Dela Vega, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, identified the slain BIFF explosive expert as Commander Bud Basilan, who is also one of the sub-leaders of the rebel group.

Dela Vega said Basilan was killed in a shootout with joint military and police forces around 7 p.m., Thursday, March 29, in the village of Puypuyan, Aleosan, North Cotabato.

Dela Vega said Basilan has resisted arrest and traded shots with the lawmen that resulted to his death.

“Our soldiers and policemen had been tracking the person and was about to apprehend him when he shot at the authorities resulting to the encounter,” Dela Vega said.

Dela Vega said that Basilan, who belongs to the BIFF’s Karialan Faction, was responsible in the manufacture of improvised bombs, which the BIFF used in carrying out roadside bombings in the towns of Aleosan, Midsayap and Carmen in North Cotabato.

He said the death of Basilan will definitely weaken his sub-group that is operating mostly in the province of North Cotabato.

He said Basilan is listed as number 209 in the wanted list under Martial Law Instruction Number 1, series of 2017 and Number 120 in the Armed Forces of the Philippines Periodic Status Report.

The Army’s 6th Infantry Division has intensified security operations against the BIFF and other terrorist groups in Central Mindanao, especially after the liberation of Marawi City.

“Our security campaign in Central Mindanao is gaining significant headway since the start of the year with already 68 neutralized BIFF members in the first quarter 2018 alone,” said Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command. (SunStar Philippines)
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