COTABATO CITY (PNA) – Three members of the Islamic State (IS)-inspired Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) have surrendered to military authorities in North Cotabato, the commander of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division said.

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Lt. Col. Glenn Caballero (left), the Army’s 34th Infantry Battalion commander, and Mayor Ramil Dilangalen of Northern Kabuntalan, Maguindanao (right), flash the peace sign together with three members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters who yielded to military authorities in Midsayap, North Cotabato on Tuesday (Oct. 27, 2020). The surrenderers said they want to live normal lives after realizing that they were fighting for a futile cause. (Photo courtesy of 34IB via PNA)

“The surrenderers complained that they were duped in(to) joining a lost cause and an extremely wrong advocacy,” Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy said.

The surrenderers, all members of the BIFF under Commander Mando Mamalumping alias Commander DM, voluntarily yielded on Tuesday afternoon to the Army’s 34th Infantry Battalion (34IB) based in Barangay Salunayan, Midsayap, North Cotabato.

“The Moro bandits were operating in the peripheries of Midsayap town and neighboring Northern Kabuntalan municipality in Maguindanao province,” Lt. Col. Glenn Caballero, the 34IB commander, said in a separate interview on Wednesday.

Caballero lauded Mayor Ramil Dilangalen of Northern Kabuntalan for facilitating the surrender of the three, whose identities were withheld for security reasons.

“Live a peaceful and progressive life together with your families,” he told the returnees who also turned over a Barrett .50-caliber sniper rifle, an M-14 sniper rifle, and ammunition.

In a recorded message, one of the surrenderers said he was excited to return to their respective families.

“We have not seen our families since the start of the pandemic,” one of the three said in the vernacular.

The provincial government of Maguindanao is set to provide them with initial livelihood assistance.

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