CHECKPOINT INSPECTION. Police personnel of the Shariff Saydona Mustapha municipality conduct checkpoints along the national highway linking Shariff Aguak, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, and Mamasapano following the arrest on Sunday (May 2, 2021) of three men for an attempt to smuggle 6,000 rounds of M16 bullets allegedly intended for BIFF terrorists in Maguindanao. Additional checkpoints were set up along the so-called SPMS box -- referring to the adjoining towns of Shariff Aguak, Pagatin (Datu Saudi Ampatuan town), Mamasapano, and Shariff Saydona, all in Maguindanao. (Photo courtesy of Shariff Saydona MPS)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Soldiers manning a checkpoint intercepted some 6,000 live rounds for M16 rifle and similar semi-automatic firearms allegedly intended for the lawless Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) operating in the province, the military said Monday.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, said elements of the 33rd Infantry Battalion manning a checkpoint in Shariff Saydona Mustapha flagged down a gray Honda Civic sedan for regular inspection on Sunday afternoon and noticed the three men on board appeared nervous and uneasy.

“A subsequent inspection on the inside of the car and its compartment led to the recovery of boxes of ammunition,” Uy said.

Initial investigation indicated that the estimated 6,000 rounds of 5.56-millimeter rifle ammunition were to be delivered to a buyer in the Shariff Saydona Mustapha area, or in its neighboring towns of Shariff Aguak, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, and Mamasapano, where the BIFF operates.

Uy declined to identify the suspects pending an ongoing military operation related to the incident.

“This is to ensure that no more ammunition from illegal suppliers will find its way to the hands of the BIFF,” he said, adding the 6ID took custody of the Honda sedan and the ammunition to be used as evidence to prosecute the suspects. (PNA)