Declaration of persona non grata vs. BIFF, possible motive for attack — WesMinCom

Marje Pelayo   •   December 4, 2020   •   227

MANILA, Philippines — The situation in Datu Piang, Maguindanao is now under control of the military after some members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) attacked key establishments in the area in the wee hours of Thursday (December 3).

The Islamist militant group first attacked the detachment of the Charlie Company, 6th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Barangay Kanguan.

Military troopers were able to counter the attack and pushed the attackers back in a gunfight that lasted for 15 minutes.

While retreating, the militants encountered a police patrol car which they set ablaze before fleeing the scene.

“Pang divert po nila para madivide po ang attention ng ating pursuing troops,” explained AFP West Mindanao Command spokesperson Lt. Col. Alaric delos Santos.

Delos Santos said BIFF’s attack may have been a retaliation after the local government of Maguindanao declared the group as persona non grata.

“Ang kanilang motibo ng pagatake ay dahil po sa sila ay idineklarang persona non grata ng provincial government ng Maguindanao,” he said.

“Ito ang ikinasama ng kanilang loob kaya may natanggap po kaming report na sila ay aatake,” he added.

There were no casualties in the attack as the military was able to prepare and warn the civilians in the area.

Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Ildebrandi Usana said only a police vehicle was set on fire.

“No other damage in properties. No cadualties din po. The PNP regional mobile force batallion and the Army from the 34IB responded immediately and reinforced the troops in the area. After 45 minutes, the municipality was cleared from any further intrusion,” he added.

The situation is now under control, authorities said.

The BIFF group that attacked last night was led by Commander Sheik Muhadin Animbang a.k.a. Kagi Karialan. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

Maguindanao mayor survives ambush; 3 aide injured, one dead

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 4, 2021

South Upi, Maguindanao Mayor Reynalbert Insular has survived a bomb attack on Sunday, the police authorities reported on Monday (January 4).

The mayor was unhurt although one of his security escorts died on the spot, while three relief workers were injured. Authorities said pursuit operations are ongoing against the suspects.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said the official and his companions were on their way back to the city hall after coming from a relief operation when they were ambushed by armed men in Barangay Pandan.

Insular had also survived two previous ambushes: one in July 2016 and the other in June 2020.

Authorities said the armed men are also the suspects in the torching of several houses in Barangay Itaw. AAC (with reports from Val Villaflor)

BIFF member killed in Maguindanao encounter, 2 others yield

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A member of the terrorist group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) was killed in an encounter with the military in Maguindanao on Wednesday morning (December 23).

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) reported Nasser Kandao was killed after an encounter with AFP troops during its blocking operations in Barangay Limpongo, Datu Hoffer in Maguindanao.

Recovered from the encounter site is a motorcycle and an M16 rifle. Hot pursuit operation continues for the other BIFF members that managed to escape. Meanwhile injured troops are recuperating in the hospital.

Meanwhile, two BIFF members yielded to the Philippine National Police (PNP). Authorities reported they are members of the BIFF-Karialan faction. The members also surrendered a .50 caliber sniper.

In appreciation of their decision, the Datu Montawal local government provided each BIFF surrenderer with a sack of rice and cash assistance. AAC (with reports from Val Villaflor)

PNP probes cops’ possible lapses in Datu Piang attack

Robie de Guzman   •   December 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The board of inquiry (BOI) created by the Philippine National Police (PNP) has started its investigation into last week’s attack on a police station and military detachment in Datu Piang town in Maguindanao.

The board is headed by Police Major General Marni Marcos with five others.

Part of its task is to determine possible operational or tactical lapses of policemen during the incident believed to have been perpetrated by around 50 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Dawlah Islamiyah.

BIFF is an Islamic separatist group while Dawlah Islamiyah is an ISIS-linked group.

Marcos said they were initially given until December 9, Wednesday, to wrap up their investigation but they have asked for an extension to finalize their report.

“As per instruction by the chief PNP (General Debold Sinas) when that incident happened last week, he gave us a timeline until December 9. But this morning, I requested for few days to wrap it up and we will submit as soon as possible,” he said.

Marcos said they are looking to submit their findings next week.

Meanwhile, Sinas confirmed that Capt. Ismael Bayona, chief of police in Datu Piang, has been temporarily relieved from his post as the investigation continues.

Bayona and other policemen involved in the incident are currently undergoing stress debriefing, he added.

“Lahat ng na-involve na pulis doon ay inundergo namin ng stress debriefing. After po ng result ng BOI (investigation) ay ibabalik namin sya,” Sinas said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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