BIFF firearms factory dismantled in Maguindanao

Rambo Talabong
BIFF firearms factory dismantled in Maguindanao
But suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters are able to flee the area before police commandos can apprehend them

MANILA, Philippines – Protected by army artillery forces, police commandos raided a Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) lair in Maguindanao, the site of a firearms factory.

There were suspected BIFF members at the base when authorities swooped in on Tuesday, May 30, but according to the army dispatch sent to reporters, they were able to flee.

Government forces seized the following equipment:

  • one gunsmithing machine
  • two rocket-propelled grenade launchers
  • one caliber .45 M1911 pistol
  • one 12-gauge shotgun
  • rifle grenades
  • unfinished homemade guns
  • assorted ammunition

Fifteen people were detained for questioning and later released.

Why this matters: According to Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc, the commanding officer of the 33rd Infantry (Makabayan) Battalion, the raid reduced the capability of the BIFF to manufacture firearms.

“We specifically targeted the firearms manufacturing capability of the BIFF. It is part of our ongoing efforts in degrading their firepower as we pressure them to surrender,” Cabunoc said.

The BIFF is an extremist organization seeking an independent Islamic state for the Filipino Muslim minority.

The group reportedly threatened to kill President Rodrigo Duterte after attacking a North Cotabato village in June 2017. –

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Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.