An alleged member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) was killed in an armed encounter on a weekend in Datu Salibo, Maguindanao del Sur.

Troops of the Joint Task Force Central were conducting military operation when they engaged several BIFF members in a firefight that lasted for about five minutes.

The military seized a caliber .45 pistol and several explosives from the clash site.

“These hazardous materials put the lives of innocent civilians at risk if they were eventually used by the BIFF for their terrorist activities,” the 6th Infantry Division (6ID) said.

“This operation was initiated in response to reports from the local community about the presence of members of terrorist groups in the area, many of whom had existing warrants of arrest and were engaged in extortion and other lawless acts,” 6ID added.


Meanwhile, at least eight BIFF members have turned themselves in to the 57th Infantry Battalion in Upi, Maguindanao del Norte.

One of them belonged to the BIFF-Karialan Faction while the rest were members of the ‘Bungos’ faction. They were provided with immediate assistance by the government.

They also handed over their firearms, including an 7.62mm M14 rifle, an 7.62mm SLR rifle, a caliber .30 M1 Garand rifle, a caliber .30 M2 Carbine rifle, a caliber .45 pistol, an 9mm Uzi-type pistol, a rocket-propelled grenade; two M79 grenade launchers; four 12-gauge shotguns; and two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) with detonating cords, Various magazines and ammunition.

"These FVEs were on our list, and their decision to return to the fold of the law and renounce armed struggle is a welcome development. This step provides them with the opportunity to start anew," 603rd Infantry Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Michael Santos, said.

The military said the eight were allegedly involved in multiple atrocities, including bombings, harassment of military bases, ambushes, and planting of IEDs, within the area of 57IB.

6ID Commander, Major General Alex Rillera, lauded the former violent extremists for their decision to return to the folds of the law and commended the operating troops.