From the Philippine Information Agency (Aug 28): Enlightened BIFF rebels surrender in Maguindanao
Six fully armed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) rebels have decided to abandon their comrades in the Liguasan Marsh recently after learning about the Army’s community projects.
The surrenderers are members of the BIFF faction under the Gani Saligan Group, a notorious rebel group in south-western Liguasan Marsh.
They brought with them six high-powered firearms including two rocket propelled grenade launchers, two cal 50 sniper rifles, one M14 rifle, and one cal 30 bolt action sniper rifle.
Among the surrenderers is Dido Malawan, 46, the Deputy Brigade Commander of the BIFF's 2nd Division.
"There are no more reasons for us to fight the government. The soldiers have solved our problems such as rido, and helped our village see the light through the electrification project," said Malawan.
The 33rd Infantry Battalion and the 1st Mechanized Infantry Battalion have orchestrated the implementation of the P2 million electrification project in Midpandacan village, General SK Pendatun town, Maguindanao in collaboration with Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative (Sukelco).
Aside from electrification in Midpandacan, the army had also refurbished a school that was abandoned for three years due to the perennial fighting among rival clans.
All surrenderers will receive an immediate assistance worth P20,000 from Maguindanao Lawmaker Congressman Zaid 'Dong' Mangudadatu.
They will likewise receive livelihood package from Governor Esmael 'Toto' Mangudadatu of Maguindanao.
The surrender negotiation was a collaboration among different agencies including the local government of General SK Pendatun, Maguindanao Police Provincial Office, Sultan Kudarat Police Provincial Office, 4th Special Action Battalion and the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade.
“The surrender of our brothers from the BIFF is a welcome development in our ongoing effort in supporting the peace and development agenda of the government,” said 6th Infantry Division Commander, Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana. (6th ID)