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Military fears BIFF may mingle with MILF

/ 05:54 AM March 04, 2015

MANILA, Philippines–The military fears Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) might mingle with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members to elude pursuing Philippine Army troopers in Central Mindanao.

Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc, chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines public affairs office, said one of the challenges in the all-out offensive against the BIFF was the possibility both rebel groups might reunite. The BIFF is a breakaway group of the MILF which is nearing a peace agreement with the government.

“That is one of the challenges, but we are closely working with local government officials, down to barangay officials and with the MILF. They committed to help us in this undertaking,” Cabunoc said.

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He added the AFP was coordinating with local governments and the MILF to determine who’s who.

He said that aside from a few well-known BIFF personalities, the military had no list of its members.

Military reports have raised the possibility some BIFF guerrillas were still operating with the MILF in which they have relatives.

Meanwhile, Cabunoc said the military continued to pursue Filipino bomb expert Basit Usman at Liguasan March where he is believed to be protected by BIFF leaders Mohammad Tambako, Nur Utoh and Kagi Karialan. The group had an encounter with the MILF in the Kabasalan complex two weeks ago.–Cynthia D. Balana

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TAGS: biff, MILF, Military, Philippines, War
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