7 rogue Moro rebels surrender to Army, yield guns in Maguindanao
COTABATO CITY—Seven members of a rogue Moro rebel group surrendered to the Army in Maguindanao on Wednesday (Feb. 17), a military official said.
Lt. Col. Omar Orozco, commander of the Army’s 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion, said those who surrendered belonged to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). BIFF is composed of members of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who turned rogue after refusing to accept the MILF peace deal with the government.
Orozco said the BIFF members turned over a mortar launcher, a sniper rifle, an M-16 rifle, Garand rifles and an improvised assault rifle.
“It was an indication that the government’s peace program is winning the hearts of extremists,” Orozco said during surrender rites at the battalion headquarters at the village of Midtimbang, Datu Anggal Midtimbang town.
Maj. Gen. Juvymax R. Uy, 6th Infantry Division commander, said credit should also go to the local government for its help in the campaign against unlicensed guns.
Since Uy assumed his post in September 2020, a total of 78 BIFF members had already laid down their firearms and surrendered.
Soldiers of the Army’s 603rd Infantry Brigade reported an abandoned BIFF camp in the towns of Datu Hofer and Guindulungan in Maguindanao.
Col. Eduardo Gubat, commander of 603rd Infantry Brigade, said forces from three battalions found the camp in Guindulngan town.
Gubat said the camp can accommodate 30 to 35 people. It has trenches and fox holes in a forested area, said Gubat.
He said a follow up operation also led firearms and explosives in the town of Datu Hofer.
Soldiers found hand grenades, gunpowder, blasting caps, shotguns and bomb-making components.
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