By Amiel Cagayan

 A joint AFP and PNP team arrested these four suspected members of the BIFF last October 2018. (Photo courtesy of AFP 6ID)

More than 1,600 families have evacuated amidst the on-going pursuit operations conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in North Cotabato and Maguindanao.

As of press time, a total of 1,691 families fled Pikit, North Cotabato and Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Maguindanao to avoid the skirmishes between the two forces.

According to the Pikit Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, 606 families from Barangay Dasawao, Shariff Saydona Mustapha as of July 29 have evacuated.

The evacuees are currently settling at barangays Makasendeg, Paidu Pulangi and Kabasalan in Pikit. Meanwhile, the remaining 1,085 families which fled their homes are staying in parts of Shariff Saydona Mustapha.

The local government of Pikit is calling on the different agencies of the government and other humanitarian organization to provide help for the evacuees.