9 BIFF members yield

ZAMBOANGA CITY — Nine individuals believed to be members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters-Bungos Faction (BIFF-BF) surrendered and turned over their assault weapons to the military at Datu Anggal Midtimbang town in Maguindanao province.

According to Joint Task Force Central (JTF-Central) commander Major General Roy Galido, the nine BIFF-BF yielded to soldiers of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion and to Midtimbang Mayor Datu Tungkang Midtimbang on Saturday.

However, 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion commanding officer Lt. Col. Samuel Nadala Jr. declined to disclose the identity of the nine former BIFF-BF terrorists for security reasons as soldiers are still conducting custodial debriefing to extract more information and reasons for their surrender.

The nine insurgents also turned over one M16 rifle, one M14 rifle, one M1 Garand rifle, one M79 Grenade Launcher, and one locally-made cal. 50 sniper, rifle and one cal. 45 pistol.

Meantime, a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Basilan also surrendered to the 64th Infantry Battalion stationed at the TARBIDC Compound in Barangay Tumahubong in Sumisip.

Joint Task Force Basilan (JTF-Basilan) commander Brig. Gen. Domingo Gobway identified the former ASG as Jijih Tularan, a resident of Barangay Limbo Candiis in Sumisip. The ASG member was believed to be one of the gunmen of late ASG sub-leader Juhaiver Alamsirul alias Abu Kik.

Gobway said the surrender of Tularan was a result of the collaborative efforts of Lt. Col. John Ferdinand Lazo, commander of the 64th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army under and of the local government unit of Sumisip headed by Vice Mayor Gulam Hataman.

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