CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao (June 23) — A son’s phone call to a member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) who has been fighting in the pawas (marsh) for weeks now, led to his surrender.
“My conscience told me I have to take care first of my family. I was deeply touched when my son called me when he was in school,” said a teary-eyed Roy Saidali Maningkala, who, along with two others, laid down their arms at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, with the help of local officials.
Maningkala convinced four of his comrades but only Junior Dia Kaul and Bin Tato Sulaiman, residents of Sitio Tukananes, Midpandakan, General SK Pendatun town in Maguindanao joined him in surrendering to the troops of the 602nd Brigade in Camp Robert Eduard M. Lucero in Carmen, North Cotabato, bringing along with them five high-powered firearms.
The latest surrender brought to 18 the number of BIFF members who surrendered to the 6th Infantry Division.
The surrenderers turned over their firearms — one 7.62mm M14 rifle, a 5.56mm M16 rifle, one 5.56mm M653 carbine, and two homemade sniper rifles.
“Kaul, Maningkala, and Sulaiman opted to surrender to the government authorities and return to the fold of the law as a result of the continuous pressure and the focused military operations and intelligence build-up of our troops on the ground,” said Major General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Joint Task Force Central.
The three are currently undergoing custodial debriefing while their surrendered firearms are in the custody of the 602nd Brigade for proper documentation and safekeeping.(Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)