By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
The military is gaining ground in its efforts to clear ” Maguindanao highway linking Cotabato City and Isulan in Sultan Kudarat of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters” (BIFF).
Col. Mayoralgo Dela Cruz, 1st Mechanized Brigade commander, said that his men were steadily advancing along the roadway as they dislodged BIFF members.
He also said that the road was now passable to motorists even as military operations goes on.
Dela Cruz also said that they also have set up security detachment in the area to ensure the safety of passer-bys and motorists.
The 1st Mechanized Brigade commander said pursuit operations would go on until all BIFF units in the area were neutralized.
He also said that they were being aided in this endeavor by units of the 6th Infantry Division and the Philippine National Police.
The BIFF, whose leader, Ustadz Amiril Umra Kato, broke away from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in December 2009, simultaneously harassed five Army detachments, mostly along the highway, at around 11:30 p.m. last Aug. 5.
The attacks came on the eve of the resumption of the peace talks between the Philippine government (GPH) and the MILF in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Both panels have repeatedly expressed optimism a peace agreement could be signed within the year.
Attacked were the detachments along the highway in Bagan, Talayan, Maguindanao; two detachments in Crossing Salbo in Datu Saudi Ampatuan; one in Meta in Datu Unsay town and another at the back of the 1st Mechanized Brigade.