From the Philippine Star (Jun 19): 2 civilians dead in latest BIFF attack
The military on Friday endorsed to the Maguindanao police for resolution Wednesday’s fatal ambush of two commuters by guerillas led by the son of the deceased Ameril Umbra Kato.
The fatalities were riding a White Toyota Innova en route to Cotabato City when they were attacked by members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) while at Kapok area in Barangay Pamalian in Shariff Saidona town in the second district of Maguindanao.
Captain Joan Petinglay, spokesperson of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, said the incident is a typical case of “rido,” which means clan war in most Moro vernaculars, between the victims and their attackers.
Local folks have confirmed that the ambushers were led by Salah, son of BIFF founder Kato, who passed away two months ago after a long bout with diabetes and hypertension.
Members of the municipal peace and order councils in Shariff Saidona and nearby towns said witnesses saw Salah lead the gunmen that shot the victims’ car with assault rifles.
“It’s a case of 'rido’ so it’s a police matter. Even so, our intelligence units will help the police investigate on the incident,” Petinglay said.
Local officials said Salah is an emerging leader of a new faction in the BIFF, which fragmented into different smaller blocs, due to differences among its commanders, even before Kato’s demise.