Two suspected members of the Islamic State-linked Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were slain in a clash with government forces in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Saturday.
According to 33rd Infantry Battalion (33IB) commander Lt. Col. Elmer Boongaling, several 33IB troopers were manning a quarantine checkpoint in Barangay Tuka when they noticed three men acting suspiciously while on board a motorbike.
“The gunmen, when accosted, opened fire on the soldiers, triggering a brief firefight that ended in an open cornfield,” Boongaling said.
He said the suspects fled on foot, leaving behind their motorbike.
After the smoke cleared, two men were separately found, lying dead with two M16 rifles beside them while the third suspect managed to escape.
Maj. Gen. Diosdado Carreon, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander and chief of the Joint Task Force Central, has alerted all ground troops to take preventive measures to thwart possible BIFF retaliations amid the coronavirus pandemic.