MAGUINDANAO - Some residents have reportedly armed themselves against possible attacks by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) after a series of bloody incidents last December 24.
Several families from Barangay Kauran in Ampatuan and Sultan Kudarat, both in Maguindanao, have left their homes and are currently staying in different evacuation centers.
According to an evacuee, "Mang Rolando," there are some residents in his barangay who have armed themselves for protection.
"May mga armas sila, 'yang mahahaba na bolo. Tadtad ang tawag sa kanila," he said.
Meanwhile, military officials visited the area to verify these reports.
Major General Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the 6th Infantry Division, visited the town of M'lang in North Cotabato to check reports that some civilians have started preparing weapons against the BIFF.
M'lang Mayor Joselito Pinol, however, denied that residents are arming themselves against the BIFF, adding that the recent attacks were due to a land dispute and not caused by the BIFF.
"It's not BIFF but an existing land conflict. The government is still in control of the situation," Pinol added.
READ: 200 families flee BIFF attack in N. Cotabato
The military and the police also said operations against the BIFF will continue. - report from Lore Mae Andong, ABS-CBN News Central Mindanao