Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) 4th Brigade Commander of 2nd Division Gani Saligan, under Karialan faction, and his followers Rafael Asim, Ksain Bantilan, Alex Datungan, Aladin Saligan, Longs Bantilan, Elmer Mangatog, Alan Saligan, Muhammid Maslamama, and Kanaw Maslamama surrendered to government on February 1.
They brought along their high-powered firearms including one 50 Caliber Barret rifle, Ultimax 5.56mm rifle, M14 rifle, and 45 Caliber pistol with assorted magazines and ammunition.
They were presented to Philippine Army 6th Infantry Division (6ID)/Joint Task Force Central commander Major General Cirilito E. Sobejana by 601st Brigade commander Brigadier General Diosdado C. Carreon at the Officer’s 6ID Club House in Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao on February 3.
“I want to live a peaceful life with my family. There are promises from our leadership that did not happen,” said Saligan. “Even our organization has its problems, particularly the leadership.”
“The surrender of the rebels is a breakthrough in countering violent extremism considering that there are still members of the outlawed group who desired to return to the folds of law,” Major General Sobejana said.
“We will help the surrenderors to go back to their normal lives by assisting them in getting livelihood opportunities through the local government. Each individual initially received 10,000 pesos as assistance from the provincial government of Maguindanao,” Sobejana added. “We will also ensure their safety and security as these people won’t be lured to join the rebel group again,”
“I commend the troops of the Joint Task Force Central under MGen Sobejana for their unfaltering campaign against terrorism in their area of operation,” said Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega, commander of the Western Mindanao Command. “Though there are unexpected circumstances that disrupt our mission, the Armed Forces is still gaining grounds in our intensified operations against radicalism and terrorism,” he added.