By Edwin Fernandez
CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao: Thirteen combatants of the extremist Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), with six identified as bomb experts, surrendered at the Army’s 601st Brigade (601Bde) headquarters in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat on Friday, for the opportunity to be with their families again.
In a report, Brig. Gen. Galido, commander of the 601Bde, identified the surrenderer as Muntani Kutin, Bayan Kabilan, Mohamad Usman, Yasser Guiwan, Tugan Guiwan, Datusela Guiwan, Leto Akil Buka, Ronnie Pelmin, Page Pegkag Usman, Randy Guialudin, Misuari Kanakan, Abu Amir Ilian, and Puti Kanakan, all belonging to the BIFF-Karialan faction.
Galido said the surrenderers also gave up assorted firearms, among them M79 grenade launchers, an M14 assault rifle, a .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifle, three machine pistols, B40 anti-tank rocket launchers, and 40-mm. grenade projectiles.
“We are tired of fighting. It is a futile cause to fight the government,” Kanakan, one of the surrenderers, said in the vernacular over a phone patch interview by reporters here Saturday.
Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, lauded the 601Bde for convincing the former BIFF members to surrender.
“The path of peace is better than fighting a lost cause,” Uy said.
Records of the 6ID showed at least 100 BIFF gunmen have surrendered to the military in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat provinces in the past 15 months.
Philippine News Agency