Palace: BIFF stands no chance to become major threat
MANILA, Philippines – The government is working to prevent the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) from becoming a major threat in the future, Malacañang said Monday.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, in a press briefing, admitted that the splinter group led by Ameril Umbra Kato remains a threat despite the military’s capture of the BIFF’s main encampment in Shariff Saydona Mustapha town in Maguindanao.
The BIFF is a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“Sabihin na lang nating panganib pa sila, ano. Iniiwasan ng pamahalaan na maging malaking panganib sila sa pamamagitan ng karampatang aksyon,” Coloma said.
(Let’s just say that they are still a threat. The government, through appropriate actions, is avoiding the chance that they become a greater threat.)
He said the pro-active measures include surveillance work and “decisive action whenever necessary.”
The BIFF has been engaging the military in gunfights following the signing of the normalization annex for the much-anticipated peace agreement between the Philippine government and the MILF.
Coloma reiterated their call for all groups in Mindanao to participate in the peace process.
“Hinihimok natin lahat ng mga mamamayan, lahat ng mga grupo na lumahok sa proseso ng kapayapaan, ngunit sa harap nito ay meron pa ring mga elemento na gumagamit ng karahasan at lumalabag sa batas. Kaya’t ang tugon sa kanila ay ‘yun ding paggamit ng kamay ng batas para supilin ang kanilang iligal na kilusan,” he said.
(We encourage all citizens, all groups to participate in the peace process but some still use violence and violate the law. That is why our response is to use the long arm of the law to quell their illegal movement.)
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