Latest News for Philippine Defense

Troops told to keep hitting BIFF – AFP official

Military units currently conducting operations against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Maguindanao have been ordered to keep on hitting the terrorist group.

“Sustain operations against the BIFF until they can no longer conduct counter-offensive and offensive operations,” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Col. Noel Detoyato said Tuesday.

Detoyato said the order was given by AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr.

He added that military commanders were likewise ordered to ensure that every operation will result in ejecting the BIFF in areas where the operations are ongoing.

“He has given commanders operational goals and standards that there must be areas that are cleared in every operation, so there must be an extra push towards operations, extra push towards the positive contribution to the AFP mission. The AFP mission is to clear all security threats, defeat, but while it is being done, there must also be peace efforts,” Detoyato said.

Operations against the BIFF started last June 10 after military units bombed suspected terrorist positions, including an improvised explosive device factory near the Linguasan Marsh in Maguindanao.

Military operations have so far neutralized dozens of the BIFF while wounding an undetermined number.

Meanwhile, the military advised residents who fled their homes following clashes between government troops and the BIFF that they can now return to their homes.

The 33rd Infantry Battalion commanding officer Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc also pointed out that the site of the skirmishes is far from communities. He said on Wednesday the military operations are ongoing.

The military offensive drove scores of residents near the marsh to flee their homes, including an estimated 10,000 in Pikit, Cotabato. Families have evacuated the area since the clashes between the military and the BIFF began last Sunday.

It was reported that the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao-Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team have assisted displaced residents of Pagalungan town.#