CAMP SIONGCO, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao (DWDD) – Joint Task Force Central dealt a big blow on the BIFF during the conduct of focused military operations that was carried out to different areas in Maguindanao during the last 5-days that started on May 06, 2017 (Saturday).
Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) leader Commander Ismael Abubakar@ Bungos is one among the top leaders that have been the subject of the operation in the tri boundary of Talayan, Guindulungan, and Datu Piang all of Maguindanao.
The said Commander had been involved in different criminalities and atrocities in Central Mindanao since the BIFF was formed in 2010. Other known BIFF leaders that were believed to be with Bungos include Ismael Abdulmalik @ Abu Toraype and Salahuddin Hassan @ Orak together with a number of followers including at least 6 Indonesian nationals involved in terroristic activities in this region particularly on bomb making. The Command utilized all available air, artillery and armor assets in support of and inconjunction with the ground operations of the different field units of JTF Central in said areas that extended to the other localities inside the Salibu-Pagatin-Mamasapano-Shariff Aguak (SPMS) box. And these assets have been very accurate and effective in hitting the identified location of target individuals and group of BIFF.
The continued support and cooperation of the different stakeholders, the LGUs, the local community, and the PNP hastened and complemented the ability of JTF Central to counter the efforts of the radical extremist groups in sowing fear and violence in the area of operation.
The cooperation, as well, of the MILF leadership in adhering to the provisions of the ceasefire agreement is also acknowledged as the conduct of the military operations had been coordinated with their BIAF units on the ground that ensured that no skirmishes or misencounter between the government troops and BIAF occurred.
While the military operations is ongoing, the conduct of checkpoint operations and mobile patrols were also undertaken to ensure the safety of the public in traversing the major highways from Cotabato to General Santos route as these armed terrorist groups are resorting to roadside bombing to divert the attention of the AFP units against their beleaguered members in and around the Salibu-Pagatin-Mamasapano-Shariff Aguak (SPMS) box. The number of casualties that the BIFF suffered has already increased from the initial report of 20 of their members killed on the first day to at least 31 killed and another 4 wounded to date. Pending the verification and validation on the ground, the number may be much higher and may still increase as the JTF Central forces are relentless in neutralizing the remaining BIFF members in the area. Let me just emphasize, the CORE PURPOSE of our existence here in this part of Central Mindanao is geared towards serving the People and Securing the Land. In closing so, we are putting our lives and limbs at risks to ensure the safety and security of the people and the community. In our Focused Military Operation, we also give utmost consideration on the primary of the peace process are we are giving heading towards achieving a just and lasting peace in this part of the country. The challenges are there but we continue to work on it progressively. 6DPAO / MCAG