MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is checking on reports that Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter (BIFF) founder Ustadz Ameril Umbra Kato died of natural cause.
The unconfirmed report said Kato died Monday night in Maguindanao after suffering from stroke several months ago but the AFP only received the information Tuesday morning.
AFP spokesperson Brig. General Joselito Kakilala said the AFP in Maguindanao is validating the said report and is still waiting for the confirmation report from the 6th Infantry Division.
Kato reportedly suffered heart attack Monday night, resulting to his death, said Kakilala.
The former commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front had been bedridden due to stroke.
Kato was the source of inspiration of BIFF members who joined him when he bolted out of the MILF and formed his owne group, the BIFF.
Kakilala said Kato and his BIFF followers had been behind the series of attackes in the different communities in Maguindanao.
If the reports of Kato’s death are true, Kakilala said the BIFF will lose its influence and will slowly fade into oblivion.
The AFP believest that Kato’s death will pave the way for peace in Central Mindanao.
Kato is the Philippines’ most wanted person with Php10-million reward. His offenses included multiple murder, arson, attempted murder, frustrated murder and robbery.
According to the Philippine National Police, Kato was one of the suspects in various hostilities in North Cotabato resulting in the death of numberous people and heavy damage to properties. – BusinessNewsAsia.com