H6ID, Camp Siongco Awang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao – The terrorist, Basit Usman, who had been one of the subjects of the recent military all-out offensives that started last February 27, 2015, died in a shootout with and among his own members at Sitio Talanaken, Barangay Muti, Guindulungan, Maguindanao at around 10am yesterday.
The area is near the relocation site of the members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who were temporarily transferred from their communities during the conduct of the military offensive against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
MILF members rushed to the area of the encounter after hearing the exchange of fires and found the dead bodies as well as the firearms scattered in the area upon arrival.
Prior information received connotes that there had already been misunderstanding and mistrust among Usman and some of his members after continuous military operations were conducted for the past months which gave pressure to the group. Reports manifest that the trust among Usman’s followers was fueled over burned out locations and operations of the group to military forces and for the tussle for the huge bounty that was put on his head.
6th Infantry Division Commander, Major General Edmundo R. Pangilinan, lauded those who exerted effort to put pressure to the group of Usman which resulted to his demise. The security sector and the MILF had played huge role in the success of the mission to get Usman into this situation. The MILF in particular had shown sincerity in supporting the peace process by voluntarily moving out from their homes during the conduct of the all-out operation against the BIFF and for not allowing the BIFF from joining and hiding in MILF areas. The MILF group also actively helped the government in flushing out terrorist such as Usman’s group from their former safe havens making them vulnerable to security forces detection.
Further, the MILF had previously been providing information to security forces which led to the arrest of prominent BIFF leaders such as Mohammad Ali Tambako and Esmael Pagao.
The death of Usman is a huge setback to the BIFF and to terrorist groups that are still operating within the area of 6ID. It is expected that more of the BIFF leaders will be taken down in the coming days.