REBELS NO MORE. Military officials, local leaders, and former Moro extremists pose for a photo opportunity after nine members of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) yielded to the Army’s 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion in Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Maguindanao on Aug. 13, 2022. A day earlier, three Dawlah Islamiya members also surrendered to military authorities in Datu Piang town of the same province. (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – A dozen members of two Moro terror groups surrendered to military authorities in this province over the weekend, the military here said Monday.

Maj. Gen. Roy Galido, Army’s 6th Infantry Division (ID) commander, said the collaborative efforts of the military, other security sectors, stakeholders and the local government units paved the way for the peaceful surrender of the batch.

“I call on other Moro rebels still out there to consider the reconciliation program of the government. The surrenderers will get a livelihood package from the provincial government,” Galido, also chief of Joint Task Force Central (JTFC), said in a statement.

Galido said three members of the Dawlah Islamiya (DI) group and nine members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) separately surrendered to the Army’s 6th Infantry Battalion (6IB) and 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion (2nd MIB), on Aug. 12 and 13, respectively.

Col. Oriel Pangcog, the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade commander, who welcomed the surrenderers, hopes that more rebels will heed the call for surrender “for them to have a second chance to live with their families peacefully.”

“Rejoining the mainstream society is in your hands to decide,” he said.

Lt. Col. Michael Glenn Manansala, the 6IB commander, said three DI members who acted as finance officers under the Abu Toraife group surrendered to his unit on Aug. 13 in Datu Piang, Maguindanao.

They turned in three M14 rifles, he said in a report.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Samuel Nadala Jr., 2MIB commander, said nine BIFF members also yielded the next day to his unit in Datu Anggal Midtimbang town.

Nadala said the BIFF surrenderers brought their firearms, including an M14 rifle, an M16 rifle, a Garand rifle, a .45 caliber pistol, an M79 grenade launcher, and a .50 caliber Barret sniper rifle.

Since January this year, 147 BIFF and 12 DI members have yielded to the 6ID in Central Mindanao. (PNA)