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AFP to step up attacks vs BIFF

/ 05:55 PM July 25, 2018

Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / LYN RILLON

The military will also step up its operations against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) after the latter warned of increased attacks to show it was not in favor of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Wednesday.

“We will also intensify our operations against them. We will get the help of the MILF [Moro Islamic Liberation Front] and MNLF [Moro National Liberation Front] to eliminate these people,” he told reporters.

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READ: BIFF warns of more attacks as it rejects Bangsamoro Organic Law

The House on Tuesday ratified the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which will allow the creation of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. It was delayed for one day after the “tug-of-war” for the leadership at the House of Representatives.

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BIFF spokesperson Abu Misri Mama said the BOL would only create more problems because it will only benefit the leaders and not the people on the ground.

Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, chairman of the MILF, which is perceived the largest Muslim rebel group in the country, said that 30,000 to 40,000 armed fighters would be disarmed in the new deal and finally go back to their normal lives.

Lorenzana, who was born and raised in Mindanao, also welcomed this development: “If this happens, peace will at last resign in the Muslim Mindanao area. The effect will be far reaching: the land will be more productive, investments will pour, infra development can proceed unimpeded.”

He said the qualified disarmed rebels may also join the military to join its militia units like the CAFGU.

Army’s 6th Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana dismissed the threat of the BIFF as merely “propaganda.”

“Whenever they do operations, they are running away from us. They are trying to impress upon the public that they remain a force to reckon with,” he said. /jpv

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TAGS: Al Haj Murad, Bangsamoro, BOL, freedom fighters, Lorenzana
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