13 Moro, NPA rebels yield in S. Cotabato, Maguindanao

At least 10 Moro extremists and three communist rebels separately yielded to authorities in the provinces of Maguindanao del Sur and South Cotabato on Thursday afternoon, military officials said. 'We are glad you came to realize that it is better to live with your family than continue the struggle against the government,' Lt. Gen. Gonzales, Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command chief, said in a statement Friday. On Thursday, Gonzales and the Army's 6th Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Alex Rillera presented five members of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maguid Group, and three New People's Army (NPA) rebels under the Sub-Regional Committee-Far South Mindanao Region, to South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo. The rebels used to operate in South Cotabato and the hinterlands of General Santos City. They turned over assorted firearms and ammunition, including two machine pistols, to the military. 'It's a welcome development seeing former enemies of the state embracing peace. They are victims of deceitful circumstances,' Rillera said in a separate statement Thursday. Meanwhile, in Mamasapano, Maguindanao del Sur, five members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF)-Kagui Karialan faction also surrendered to the Army's 33rd Infantry Battalion in Rajah Buayan town. The BIFF used to operate in the Mamasapano marshland, where 44 members of the police special action force were killed in 2015 during a bungled operation against foreign terrorists in the village of Tukanalipao. Brig. Gen. Oriel Pangcog, commander of the Army's 601st Brigade, said the BIFF group chose to turn themselves in after many of their comrades surrendered to the government earlier. Source: Philippines News Agency