An alleged Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) bomb expert has surrendered to the military, the Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom) said Monday.
Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of the WesMinCom, identified the militant as Tong Ayob Dubpalig, 57, of Midsayap, North Cotabato.
Vinluan said that Dubpalig was a member of the BIFF-Karialan faction and a follower of the late Mando Mamalumpong, former division commander and spokesperson of BIFF-Karialan who was neutralized by government forces in Midsayap, North Cotabato in 2019.
Dubpalig yielded to members of the 602nd Infantry Brigade the 34th Infantry Battalion at the 34IB Headquarters in Barangay Salunayan, Midsayap, North Cotabato last Saturday, March 13.
He also turned over a sniper rifle and an IED (improvised explosive device) to the military during his surrender.
A military intelligence report said Dubpalig was “involved in a series of bombing incidents in Maguindanao and North Cotabato,” two areas which are known strongholds of the militant group in Mindanao.
“This is a good development in our campaign against terrorism in Central Mindanao. With the support of the partners and stakeholders, we hope that more terrorists will decide to join us in the path towards peace and development here in Mindanao,” Vinluan said.
Dubpalig was subjected to a custodial debriefing while his turned-over firearm and explosive were kept at the 34IB Headquarters for documentation.
Vinluan said that 60 BIFF militants have so far surrendered to the military from January 1 to March 9 this year.
“This manifests the eagerness of the former terrorists to embrace peace and negate the false ideology of the group,” he said.