Another Army infantry battalion, composed of about 500 soldiers, moved out from Negros to Mindanao yesterday.
Col. Francisco Delfin, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday said the redeployment of 11th Infantry Battalion from central Negros to Zamboanga, was in line with the government campaign to address terrorism in Mindanao.
Last year, the 47th Infantry Battalion, including the 302nd Infantry Brigade, was also redeployed from southern Negros to Bohol.
Aside from 303rd Infantry Brigade, other Army units were also deployed to Mindanao, Delfin added.
There are now two Army infantry battalions left behind in Negros island, with the 62nd and 79th Infantry Battalions confronting the remnants of the New People’s Army.
Delfin, however, assured that there will be no security vacuum areas in Negros, with the redeployment of the 11th Infantry Battalion to Mindanao, adding that the 3rd Infantry Division reconnaissance companies have also been dispatched to Negros.
He said the 303IB will continue its Bayanihan Team activities as well as peace and development efforts in far-flung communities.
The 11IB will be placed under the supervision of the Western Mindanao Command. of Negros island.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the soldiers to “destroy” the Abu Sayyaf, which has time and again been his articulated policy on the terrorists.
Duterte also assured his soldiers: “Leave your worries. All you ever need to face your enemy, to be in a superior position to do your war, you will have it… [even] my presidential jet, it’s yours to use as a flying ambulance. I’m will just take commercial flights.”
The Abu Sayyaf Group reportedly still holds captive about 18 people, including 14 foreigners kidnapped in separate incidents.*GPB
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