7 Moro extremists yield to military




The Manila Times



SEVEN members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have surrendered to military authorities in Maguindanao del Sur province, the Army announced on Friday. Lt. Col. Michael Glenn Manansala, the Army’s 6th Infantry Battalion (6IB) commander, said Datu Piang town officials helped in convincing the extremists to return to the fold of the law. During their surrender at the 6IB headquarters in Datu Piang, the surrenderers turned in a launcher for B40 anti-tank rockets, two .50-caliber sniper rifles, a .30-caliber rifle and two M1 Garand rifles. Maj. Gen. Alex Rillera, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, said the seven BIFF members, including three leaders, decided to surrender and avail of the government’s peace offer. He lauded the local leaders and the 6IB troopers in the successful implementation of the government’s peace programs down to the grassroots. One of the surrenderers, who chose not to be identified, said they have long wanted to return to their families and live normal lives. “Life was hard; we were always running and evading relentless military operations against us,” he said in his local dialect. Since January 1 this year, some 50 BIFF members have surrendered before the 6ID in Central Mindanao.