Government troops preempt BIFF atrocity in Pigcawayan

CAMP SIONGCO, Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao – Troops of Joint Task Force Central preempted the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters’ (BIFF) plan to initiate atrocities in Midsayap and Pigcawayan, all of North Cotabato, yesterday morning, 21 June 2017.

 

Undetermined number of BIFF led by Commander Abunawas, OB10, Abu Saide, Sala and Agila harassed the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT) outpost in Brgy Malagakit at around 6:00 in the morning.

Repulsed by the responding troops of 34th Infantry Battalion, part of the BIFF was also engaged by the troops from Simsiman CAA Detachment where they incurred 1 wounded in action CAA personnel.

Held as hostages by more or less 30 fully armed men in the nearby Malagakit Elementary School are undetermined number of civilians used as human shields.

Troops of 602nd Brigade and 603rd Brigade are addressing the situation where the BIFF are contained. Likewise, close coordination with the Moro Islamic Freedom Fighters (MILF) and ceasefire committee have been initiated since part of the area is occupied by 105th Base Command of the MILF.

By nightfall, government forces have already inched their way towards BIFF-held school that prompted the BIFF members to hastily leave behind civilian hostages as they withrew towards the marshland.

A total of 31 hostages were safely rescued and another group of 32 civilians who were hiding elsewhere where recovered as the troops took control of the area.

“We have conducted the operation against the bandits with precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the hostages and we have also encouraged the public to extend their full cooperation and support in order to facilitate the immediate stabilization of the area,” Major General Dela Vega said.