MANILA – An estimated five to six Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were killed while an undetermined number of others were wounded in unprovoked attacks on three military installations in Maguindanao on Thursday, New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31.
This was disclosed by 6th Infantry Division public affairs office chief Capt. Jo-ann Petinglay in a message to the Philippines News Agency on Friday.
“Members of the armed lawless group who call themselves Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters harassed three military detachments of 6th ID before the change of the year but were surprised to face the determined defensive posturing of their targets,” she said.
The BIFF first harassed one Philippine Army detachment in Datu Piang, Maguindanao using an M-203 grenade launcher, with its rounds landing about 50 meters from the Kaungan Detachment of a Mechanized Infantry Company on Thursday afternoon.
At 9:30 p.m., an estimated 30 BIFF harassed the Timbangan Detachment of 34th Infantry Battalion based in Barangay Timbangan, Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao.
About an hour later, the Linantangan Detachment of the 40th Infantry Battalion located in Barangay Linantangan, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, was also attacked.
“The already prepared military forces immediately engaged the harassing lawless elements for an estimated fifteen-minute firefight, prompting the BIFF to withdraw and scamper towards different directions. Members of the communities reported that withdrawing BIFF carried with them about five to six dead bodies and a massive number of wounded,” Petinglay added.
“Let the incident be a lesson to the BIFF that there can only be one superior force and that is the Philippine government Armed Forces,” 6th Infantry Division commander, Major Gen. Edmundo R. Pangilinan said.