Army discovers BIFF gun factory in Maguindanao

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CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao — Joint military and police personnel stumbled upon a gun factory in General Salipada K. Pendatun, Maguindanao as they were to serve a warrant against a wanted person in the area Tuesday.

Acting on a tip from civilians, the arresting team swooped down on the pinpointed safe house of Sukarno Buka, a sub-leader of Islamic State-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), in Barangay Midconding for attempted murder charges but the latter managed to elude arrest.

The joint military-police team instead discovered a BIFF gun factory in the area,” Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, said in a report Wednesday.

Sobejana said the law enforcement operation was carried out by the Army’s 33rd Infantry Battalion (33IB), the 2nd Mechanized Infantry Battalion (MIB), and the police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Maguindanao.

Buka’s group operates in the peripheries of Gen. S.K. Pendatun, Mangudadatu, and Paglat towns in the province.

Lt. Col. Elmer Boongaling, 33IB commander, said civilians and village officials alike have told him that Buka was manufacturing firearms for the BIFF and involved in illegal drug activities in Gen. S. K. Pendatun.

He said the 33IB’s regular engagement with the local communities has been gaining ground as civilians are helping the military fight terrorism.

Government forces seized several unfinished firearms, equipment, and ammunition, said Col. Efren Baluyot, 1st MIB commander.

Baluyot said the discovery of the guns making facility, firearms, and bullets has degraded the BIFF’s fighting capability.

Sobejana lauded the locals for providing authorities with information of high-intelligence value that preempted lawless elements from harming civilian communities. -PNA

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