COTABATO CITY: Eight members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) surrendered to the security forces as well as laid down their arms and returned to the folds of the law on September 2. Through the efforts of the soldiers from the 33rd Infantry Battalion (33IB), the eight former violent extremists (FVEs) were convinced to abandon their armed struggle and begin to live normal lives with their families and loved ones. They submitted themselves to the soldiers operating in Barangay Zapakan, Radjah Buayan and Maguindanao, and were subsequently received by Lt. Col. Benjamin Cadiente Jr., commanding officer of the 33IB. Cadiente said that the FVEs were members of the BIFF-Karialan Faction. Their identities are not disclosed for their safety. Surrendered personalities handed over to the military the following firearms: four Garand rifles, one M203 grenade launcher, one M79 grenade launcher, one Mosin-Nagant rifle, one M1911 cal. 45 pistol and two 40mm ammunition. Maj. Gen. Roy Galido, commander of Joint Task Force (JTF) Central, said they will process the enrollment of the FVEs in the reintegration program of the government. The eight FVEs and their surrendered firearms are currently under the custody of the 33IB for proper disposition and safekeeping. Wesmincom Commander Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr. commended the troops of JTF Central for this remarkable feat. "Rest assured that our security and civil-military operations will never falter until lasting peace is attained in our area of operation," Rosario said.

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