KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 25 Nov) — The Bangsmaoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) is recruiting children and teenagers in North Cotabato to join their group, Capt. Edwin Encinas, chief of the Public Affairs Office of the Army’s 602nd Brigade, said.
But Encinas could not say how many have been recruited in North Cotabato by the alleged IS-inspired BIFF faction under Esmael Abdulmalki alias Abu Torayfe.
“We monitored their recruitment during the first quarter of the year. It is still ongoing,” he said, adding they are relentlessly pursuing Torayfe’s group and they are continuously touching base with the youth to prevent them form getting enticed by the BIFF.
Early October this year, the 602nd Brigade intensified its military offensives against the BIFF who were believed hiding in two villages in Carmen, North Cotabato.
The aerial bombardment in areas in Carmen town where militants were sighted led to the displacement of some 200 families from Barangays Tonganon and Bentangan.
Early this week, the military overran the camps put up by the BIFF in Tonganon and Bentangan in Carmen, according to Encinas.
Torayfe and his group, according to reports, were forced to abandon their lairs after the Army intensified military offensives in the area. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)