COTABATO CITY -- Three members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were killed while two others were wounded in an encounter with government troops in Sitio Mapagkaya, Barangay Paidupulangi in Pikit, North Cotabato Friday afternoon.
According to 602nd Brigade spokesperson Captain Antonio Bulao, they already have the names of the casualties but these still need to be verified before they could be released to the media.
"Hindi pa muna natin pwedeng pangalanan kasi may mga proseso pa tayong gagawin," he said.
BIFF spokesperson Abu Missry Mama, however, strongly denied the military's statement and said only one member was wounded and no one was killed.
"Hindi totoo yan, isa lang ang nasugatan sa amin, aaminin naman namin kung meron," Mama said.
Mama added that according to their intelligence report, five soldiers were killed in the firefight.
"Ganyan kalakas ang intelligence namin, lima ang namatay sa mga sundalo," he said.
But the military denied this.
The skirmishes between the BIFF and government troops started before the New Year's Eve.