Combined elements of the Philippine security forces nabbed four members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters during a dawn raid in General Salipada K Pendatun, Maguindanao at 5:00am on Wednesday (October 17).
The suspects offered no resistance when heavily armed soldiers and policemen suddenly emerged in their hideouts to serve the arrest warrants against Datu Parido Balabagan a.k.a. Commander Banog of the BIFF 2nd Division. Unfortunately, Commander Banog, along with 8 of his men, was able to escape using a secret passage behind the compound where he was hiding.
Four high-powered firearms were seized including one Cal 7.62mm M14 Rifle, one Cal 30 M1 Garand Rifle, two Rocket-propelled grenade launchers, three MK2 Hand grenades and assorted ammunitions.
Lt Col Harold M Cabunoc, the Commanding Officer of the 33rd Infantry (Makabayan) Battalion, identified the suspects as Ronex Langalen, 47, Anwar Abdullah, 26, Allakbar Sekung, 20, and Renante Milan, 37. They were handed over to CIDG-ARMM chief PSSupt James Gulmatico for the legal cases that would be filed against them.
Colonel Robert Dauz, the Commander of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, said that the effort was part of the intensified law enforcement operations against peace spoilers.
“This is the outcome of our all-out effort against armed threats who attempted to attack the police station in Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat a few days ago. I hope that this incident would serve as a stern warning against the group of Commander Banog who have eluded arrest,” said Dauz.
Meanwhile, Major General Cirilito Sobejana has directed the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade to hunt down the remnants of the BIFF in GSKP town.
“You must continuously pursue them so that we can prevent their atrocities against hapless civilians. We will maintain the great teammanship with our brothers in the PNP to synergize our efforts against the enemies of the state,” he said. (33rd Infantry Battalion)