13 ‘tired’ extremists yield in N. Cotabato, Maguindanao

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COTABATO, Philippine – 13 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) surrendered with their firearms to military authorities in Maguindanao and North Cotabato provinces on Wednesday, claiming they were tired of fleeing government forces.

During surrender rites at the 1st Brigade Combat Team headquarters in Sultan Kudarat town, Maguindanao, Lt. Colonel Nathaniel Balintong, commander of the Army’s 92nd Infantry Battalion, presented the 13 BIFF members to Maj. Gen. Roy Galido, commander of the 6th Infantry Division.

“These surrenderers were members of the BIFF Bongos faction, which operated in North Cotabato and Maguindanao,” Balintong said.

Seven of those who surrendered were from Midsayap, North Cotabato, and the remaining six were from Sultan Kudarat.

“We decided to surrender due to ongoing military operations against us; additionally, we want to live peacefully with our families,” one of the surrenderers explained in vernacular.

Galido urged the remaining BIFF members in Maguindanao and North Cotabato to follow suit and live normal lives.

Following their surrender, the BIFF batch received food and financial assistance from the Midsayap and Sultan Kudarat local governments, as well as the Maguindanao provincial government.

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