Members of the separatist Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) are reportedly preparing retaliatory attacks to avenge the series of setbacks they suffered from the military’s recent anti-terrorism campaign.
Informed sources said the BIFF will also strongly oppose the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law by staging attacks against the military.
“There is very reliable information that the BIFF is out to avenge the series of military operations against them, resulting in the death of dozens of militants,” the source said.
It was earlier reported that the BIFF is planning to stage bombing attacks in Metro Manila as part of their plan to exact revenge on the military and to emphasize their rejection of the BBL.
Several improvised explosive devices (IED) were discovered by the military in separate areas in Maguindanao in the past two weeks, which the source said was an indication that the BIFF is planning something “serious.”
The military claimed to have killed at least 129 BIFF separatists, including three ranking commanders and also wounding hundreds of others in clashes in the outskirts of Datu Piang, Shariff Aguak and Shariff Saydona towns in Maguindanao in the past two months.
The military campaign against the BIFF has also resulted to the arrest of Muhammad Ali Tambako, the leader of the newly formed terrorist group Justice Islamic Movement (JIM).
Tambako was reportedly the most trusted commander of BIFF leader Umbra kato, a former top MILF commander. The latter allegedly left the MILF because of differences with MILF chairman Murad Ibrahim.
AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang recently suspended military operations against the BIFF to pave the way for the reconstruction of damaged houses and other structures due to the intense fighting in Maguindanao.
However, Catapang said despite the temporary suspension of operations, the military will continue to hunt BIFF terrorists, including Abdul Basit Usman, the top adviser of BIFF leader Umbra Kato.