SURRENDERED FIREARMS. The guns turned in by six surrendering members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters to the Army in Barangay Zapakan, Rajah Buayan, Maguindanao on Monday (April 13, 2020). The surrenderers say they are tired of fighting for a futile cause and want to live normal and productive lives. (Photo courtesy of 33IB)

COTABATO CITY – Six members of the Daesh-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) surrendered on Monday to the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion (33IB) in Barangay Zapakan, Rajah Buayan, Maguindanao.

The six surrenderers under the faction of sub-commander Bungos turned in assorted high-powered firearms, said Lt. Col. Elmer Boongaling, 33IB commander, who identified the surrenderers as Naldo Babalay, Nashrudin Kanapia, Abil Kusain, Dok Adam, Alamansa Manampad and Antok Pendatun.

Boongaling said the returnees told him that they decided to come out because their companions who surrendered earlier are now living normal and productive lives.

“We envy them -- they are now happy with their families and they are now earning through the livelihood given by the government,” Babalay said in the vernacular.

Boongaling said they expect a continuous influx of surrenderers in their unit area of operation in collaboration with the local government units.

Col. Joel Q. Mamon, officer-in-charge of 601st Infantry Brigade, said: “With this challenging situation brought about by the pandemic crisis, it is our duty and responsibility to sustain the peace and order in the area while we work together to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Maguindanao province.”

The surrenderers are set to undergo debriefing and processing before they are endorsed to the provincial government for appropriate livelihood assistance. (With a report from Noel Punzalan/PNA)