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61 dead, 60 wounded as military ops vs. BIFF continue in Maguindanao

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

Courtesy of LT. Col. Harold Cabunoc Fb account

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines – The military’s surgical operation against ISIS-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) continue for the tenth day on Tuesday (July 11).

The armed conflict began on Monday (July 2) following a firefight that broke out at Dapiawan Elementary School in the town of Datu Saudi-Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

According to UNTV sources, four soldiers on the side of the government were killed-in-action and 20 others were wounded.

Meanwhile, 57 BIFF members were neutralized by the military and 40 others were wounded, according to the source.

The military, so far, has recovered 20 high-powered firearms and 10 improvised explosives from the bandits.

 “Continuing ang focused military operation ng Joint Task Force Central at base na rin sa pronouncement ni General Sobejana na hindi nila titigilan hangga’t mayroong teroristang grupo na nandoon sa SPMS box sa Maguindanao,” said AFP West Mindanao Command Spokesperson Lt. Col, Gerry Besana. “SPMS box” refers to the adjoining towns of Shariff Aguak, Pagatin or Datu Piang, Mamasapano and Salibo in Maguindanao.

The military continues its airstrikes in the area utilizing all available air assets and 105 Howitzer tanks to its ground efforts.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) makes use of the existing martial law in Mindanao to neutralize the terror group and prevent further hostilities, particularly in Central Mindanao.

On the other hand, the BIFF leadership seems to be underestimating the ongoing military operations. BIFF Spokesperson Abu Misri Mama said reports that many of their members have been killed are just part of the military’s propaganda.

“Marami naman tayong mga tauhan. Nagchi-change sila. Mga bala ay marami tayo. Iyong mga pronouncement nila sa mga radio, propaganda lang nila kasi para matakpan iyong kanilang mga kahihiyan,” said Abu Misri Mama.

Meanwhile, the AFP WestMinCom assures to protect and prevent civilian casualties in the encounter. There are around 10,000 evacuees already sent to temporary shelters while the fight is ongoing. – Dante Amento / Marje Pelayo

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Army encountered election-related incidents in Mindanao in past 24 hours

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Monday, May 13th, 2019

The Philippine Army has monitored a number of election-related incidents in several areas in Mindanao in the past 24 hours.

On Sunday night (May 12), the intelligence personnel of the Army’s 57th Infantry Battalion led by SSG Richard V. Gacias, discovered a container suspected to be of an improvised explosive device (IED) at Sitio Panang, Brgy Salbu, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

This, while the troop was conducting covert security and liaising operations in the area.

The discovered IED was placed in a plastic container with the following components:

1.            One (1) handheld radio (baofeng)

2.            Black powder (main charge).

3.            Assorted concrete nails.

4.            One (1) improvised blasting cap

The troop conducted area security and cordoned off the IED site and temporarily controlled and held the commuters while waiting for the arrival of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team.

The EOD team then immediately conducted recovery operations and paneling and safety procedures in successfully recovering and disrupting the IED.

 The team then brought the IED to the old capitol in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao for proper disposition.

Meanwhile, an explosion was heard near the Cotabato City Hall, on Matalam St., Malagapas in Cotabato City at 10 in the evening. 

Fragments of CTG 40mm, were recovered in the area. 

The identities of the perpetrators are yet to be determined, but authorities believe that the motive of the blast is to disrupt the sorting of voting paraphernalia that will be used on election day.

No casualty was reported in the incident.

Thirty minutes after, a shooting incident transpired near the Datu Unsay Public Market, Brgy Meta, Datu Unsay, Maguindanao wherein a certain Jack Ebrahim, 27 years old, was shot on his left thigh.

The perpetrator of the shooting is still unknown.

On Monday (May 13), the right-hand man of Shariff Aguak mayoral candidate Zaharra Ampatuan was shot near a fruit stand at Shariff Aguak market by an unidentified gunman at past one in the morning.

Nasrudin Upam, who was hit at his right arm, was immediately brought by a concerned citizen to IPHO-Maguindanao Provincial Hospital.

And at 7:20 in the morning, an explosion, caused by a still undetermined type of explosive, took place in the vicinity of Poblacion Dalican in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

The Army immediately responded to the explosion site to cordon the area and to possibly apprehend the perpetrators.

This unit immediately coordinated with 3rd EOD unit to send a team to investigate the explosion site and determine the type of the IED used. /mbmf

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BIFF to support Bangsamoro Organic Law if results are favorable – BIFF spokesperson

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2018

 

A member of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — Abu Misri Mama, the spokesperson for the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), announced that the group will support the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) if the results turn out to be favorable.

Lately, the BIFF has been noticeably silent and less active in Mindanao.

The group said they are watching closely how the proposed Bangsamoro Organic Law will turn out once it is ratified through a plebiscite next year.

The BIFF stressed that they are willing to open the doors to peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front under the BOL.

President Rodrigo Duterte said recently that if the ‘yes’ vote wins in the plebiscite, he plans to speak with MILF founding chairman Nur Misuari.

Abu Misra Mama assured the BIFF’s support for the BOL as a means to end the conflict in Mindanao.

“Ang aming stand mag-observe muna kami dahil tingnan muna natin kung ang Bangsamoro Organic Act o Law ay yung maka-solve sa problema sa Mindanao ay sama tayo,” he said.

The group also assured that while the peace process is ongoing, they will not launch any attacks.

However, if their expectations are not met, they will continue the fight and will not align themselves with the BOL.

“Wala po kaming gagawing pag-aatake at wala pong anu-ano na makasisira sa anong bagay na pakinabangan natin pero kung aatakehin kami ‘yon lalaban po kami,” said the BIFF spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines welcomed the group’s statement of support.

Joint Task Force Central Commander Major General Cirilito Sobejana said that this development is favorable to the armed forces because it means one less opposition in the government’s pursuit of peace.

“It is a positive development dahil bawas na sa gobyerno kapag sila’y sumusuporta na sa Bangsamoro Organic Law,” Sobejana said. — Dante Amento

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PNP nabs suspect in GenSan Blast

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, September 21st, 2018

GenSan bombing suspect (in red) being taken into custody

 

The primary suspect in the September 16 blast in General Santos City that injured eight people is now under police custody.

Authorities identified the suspect as Jefry Alonzo, 39, and a resident of Purok Tres, Barangay Lapu in Polomolok, South Cotabato.

Alonzo, who was arrested during a buy-bust operation, was an alleged member of Nilong Group which is a breakaway group of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

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