Friday, April 17, 2015

AFP chief tells military to file charges against BIFF leader behind series of harassment attacks

From the Philippine News Agency (Apr 17): AFP chief tells military to file charges against BIFF leader behind series of harassment attacks

In wake of the series of harassment attacks by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters against military outposts in Maguindanao which wounded five troopers, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang on Friday directed ground units in the area to file criminal charges against the BIFF leader who spearheaded the assault.

"The Chief of Staff Armed Forces of the Philippines Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. has directed the commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division General Edmundo Pangilinan to file a criminal case against Esmael Abu Bakar alias Kumander Bungos, who is responsible for the series of attacks against the government troops in Maguindanao for two consecutive nights," the AFP stated.

Bungos led a band of BIFF bandits who attacked the positions of Army soldiers last April 15 and 16.

In the April 16 attack, five troopers were hurt when their temporary position was fired upon by bandits using 40mm M-203 grenade launchers at around 7 p.m. in Barangay Pagatin, Datu Salibo, Maguindanao.

Catapang said Bungos and his men must be held responsible for the injuries sustained by government troops.

He added that BIFF has also caused the anxiety felt by ordinary civilians who were affected in the violent attacks.

Catapang also called on the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to prevent the members of the BIFF from entering their communities.

He has enjoined the MILF to help the government forces in flushing out the BIFF who are spoiling the peace process in Mindanao.

Catapang has directed the Western Mindanao command to continue conducting security patrols and maintain its presence in former BIFF enclaves.

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