Kato deputy now heads BIFF

COTABATO CITY (MindaNews/15 April) – A Middle East-educated sheik (Islamic scholar) now leads the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) after its founding chair Amiril Umra Kato died of cardiac arrest on Tuesday dawn.

BIFF spokesperson Abu Misry Mama said the new leader, Sheik Ismael Abubakar, was among the best leaders next to Kato.

Abubakar was the BIFF vice chair for political affairs at the time of Kato’s death.

Mama said Abubakar served as a brigade commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILFs)’s 105th Base Command before he bolted the MILF with Kato.

Mama said BIFF leaders, in a special meeting after Kato was laid to rest, agreed to install the 40-year old sheik, also known as ‘Commander Bungos,” as its new chair.

The spokesperson said the BIFF’s struggle for independence will continue despite the loss of Kato.

The also group denied they are weakened now with the death of their founder.

Mama refused to reveal Kato’s final resting place.

Kato formed the BIFF in March 2010. He left the MILF over disagreements on the handling of peace talks with government. (Ferdinandh Cabrera/MindaNews)