Chief Inspector Reylan Mamon, Pigcawayan police chief, said they are still coordinating with officials of Barangay Malagakit to determine how many people are trapped in the village and in the school.
“We have not yet determined kung sino at kung ilan ang na-trap sa area (who and how many are trapped in the area)” by the ongoing firefight he said in a phone patch interview.
Mamon said the BIFF gunmen occupied the school, which is in the middle of a residential area, around 5:45 a.m.
He added that they are also unsure how many gunmen are in the Malagakit school.
The BIFF, which broke away from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front almost a decade go, is one of the armed groups in Mindanao that government claims have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
Mindanao has been under martial law since May 23, when fighting broke out in Marawi City between government forces and extremist gunmen from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups, who have been joined by a number of foreign terrorists.