North Cotabato on alert vs BIFF

DAVAO CITY(MindaNews/27 September) – North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza on Friday assured her constituents that the provincial government is closely coordinating with government security forces to possibly thwart further attacks by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).

Mendoza issued the statement amid rumors that the BIFF would launch another attack in some parts of the province.

In a text message, the governor said the military and police are on alert to avert “any diversionary, opportunistic and terroristic plans of any armed group in the province.”

“Our disaster, medical and relief teams are on standby for support. We are getting constant updates from the LGUs (local government units) down to the barangays for any sightings of the armed group,” the governor said.

The rumors came following the sporadic clashes in the rice-producing villages of Midsayap on Monday, which displaced at least 2,000 families and left two civilians dead.

On Thursday, government forces were able to foil another attack by the BIFF rebels in barangays Tibao in M’lang and Dalapitan in Matalam.

Mendoza assured that “it’s business as usual in the province of Cotabato.”

“We cannot allow fear to stop us from working and providing foods on the table,” she said. (Keith Bacongco / MindaNews)