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BIFF commander, 11 followers surrender; yield arms cache

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A local commander of one faction of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and his 11 followers surrendered to government forces in Ampatuan, Maguindanao, and handed over a cache of high-powered firearms and some explosives, the military said Tuesday.

Among those who surrendered was Zukalnen Dawi Mustapha alias Commander Kenay, leader of an “elite” force under the BIFF’s Karialan faction, said Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.

He identified the other surrenderors as Said Amen Guiamel Zainudin, 30; Hamid Abo Maguid, 45; Abdul Maula Akmad, 26; Aladin Alonto Amid, 20; Nasrodin Dawi Mustapha, 23; Muslimen Akon Zainudin, 33; Omar Mariga Angkanan, 41; Wahid Solaiman Guiahod, 18; Salah Sayotin, 20; Kebur Sanggoko Alonto, 18; and Kedti Kaharudin, 38.

They surrendered at the 1st Mechanized Brigade headquarters in Brgy. Kamasi before noon on Monday, Uy said.

Troops of that unit, other security forces, and local officials of Shariff Saydona Mustapha town worked for the BIFF members’ surrender, he said.

The militants yielded two caliber-.30 sniper rifles, a cal-.50 sniper rifle, two M14 rifles, an M16A1 rifle, and an M79 grenade launcher.

They also handed over two rocket-propelled grenades, two rounds of high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT), several rounds of different calibers of ammunition, and components for improvised bombs, including blasting caps.

According to Uy, Monday’s surrender was the sixth time for a group of BIFF members to yield in Maguindanao, in August alone.

Since August 6, a total of 55 BIFF members have surrendered, data provided by the 6th ID showed.

Uy thanked the latest surrenderors for deciding to return to the fold of the law.

“We are grateful that you have denounced the BIFF and have finally cut your support with them. You also surrendered equipment used to destroy lives and properties. Rest assured that this kind of act will never be put to waste,” he said.

The surrenderors are now undergoing custodial debriefing and documentation, while grants for them to have sustainable income and start peaceful lives are being processed.

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