More soldiers deployed to Davao

THE ARMED Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has deployed a battalion of soldiers as additional force in Davao region, particularly in the city.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has requesting the AFP for additional force in the city to combat insurgency and terroristic attack.

General Eduardo Año, AFP chief of staff, told TIMES yesterday that the troopers of the 16th Infantry (Maglilingkod) Battalion (IB) will serve as an additional troop to the 1003rd Infantry Brigade (IB) under the 10th Infantry Division (ID), which covers the whole area of Davao.

“So far, that’s the additional force until we will hold our security assessment this June,” Año said.

Maj. Gen. Rafael Valencia, 10th ID commander, said some of the Maglilingkod troopers arrived in the region last Friday from Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom).

Valencia said they are still conducting evaluation on where to deploy the additional battalion.

“No specific area (where to assign them) but we will adjust accordingly,” Valencia said, adding that the additional soldiers will possibly be deployed to areas without security forces in the city.

The 16th IB is under the 2nd ID, the Army’s Jungle Fighter Division based in Tanay Rizal.  Before coming to Davao, they were assigned at the WesMinCom based in Zamboanga City.

At WesMinCom, the Maglilingkod soldiers served under the operational control of 1st ID in Sulu in running after Abu Sayyaf Group in the area.

The Maglilingkod also served in Surigao del Sur under the 4th ID, helping pressing the insurgency situation in the area.

For now, the 16th IB will augment the 1003rd IB of 10ID.

The Davao-based 10 ID (Agila) is composed of one task force, four brigades, 11 battalions and two engineer battalions, covering the Region XI and parts of Region 12. It has a capacity of around 6,000 soldiers.

Each battalion is composed of about 500 soldiers.

Valencia said they already requesting to recall back to Davao three 10th ID battalions that have been detailed Sulu since last year.

“Through the cooperation with the local government and businessmen, we will activate additional SCAAs (militias) and later on, we will return the troops that we sent to Sulu here (in Region XI),” Año said.

The additional deployment of government troopers in Davao came after the recent attacks staged by the New People’s Army (NPA) in the city.

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