COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Ten alleged members of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were killed as clashes continue at the boundary of Datu Piang, Maguindanao and Pikit, North Cotabato.
According to Col. Allan Arrojado, the commanding officer of the 6th Infantry Division’s 602nd Brigade, aside from the 10 BIFF members killed, two others were injured, including the nephew of the groups’ leader, Commander Ameril Umbra Kato.
Arrojado said the attack was made by the rebel groups on the evening of December 31.
“Hindi talaga siya 'yung isang araw na dire-diretso ‘yung putok,” he explained. “Tahimik sila ng mga 12 noon to 1 p.m, tapos pa unti-unting palitan ng putok for the rest of the day.”
Arrojado believes the attack has something to do with the extortion demands of the rebel group, as well as their issues with the peace talks.
“Di sila napagbigyan e, plus harvest time na ngayon at kahit di nila sabihin, they are trying to derail the (peace) talks,” he said.
But BIFF spokesperson Abu Missry Mama denied the report and said there were no casualties on their side.