BIFF kills 2 in ambush PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 20 June 2015 10:23

The military on Friday turned over to the police for resolution the deadly ambush of two civilians staged by gunmen led by the son of the deceased leader of a breakaway rebel group in the strife-torn Maguindanao province.

Capt.Joan Petinglay, spokesperson of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, told Philippines Star the killing is a typical case of “rido,” a Moro term that means dispute between the victims and their assailants.

“It’s a case of ‘rido’ so it’s a police matter. Even so, our intelligence units will help the police investigate on the incident,” Petinglay said.

The victim were aboard a Toyota van on their way to Cotabato City, the seat of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), when they were fired upon by guerrillas of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the village of Pamalian, Shariff Saidona township.

Villagers told Philippines Star that the attackers were led by Salah, son of BIFF founder Ameril Umbra Kato, who died two months ago due diabetes and hypertension.

Local officials said Salah has emerged as the leader of a new faction in the BIFF, which is composed of different smaller splintered factions due to differences among its commanders.

Officials of Shariff Saidona and nearby towns quoted witnesses as saying they saw Salah lead the gunmen in peppering the victims’ van with bullets using assault rifles.

BIFF broke up with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Philipppines’ largest Muslim rebel group, after it signed a peace agreement with the government in March 2013. It is blamed for the several bomb attacks and ambushes carried out against police and military forces in Maguindanao and other Central Mindanao provinces.