Cot Prov army on track to end local communist armed conflict – Philippines

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato Province, March 13 (PIA)— Pursuant to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Executive Order 70, establishing a Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict, the 602nd and 901st Brigades of the Philippine Army based in Cotabato province are strengthening their efforts to fight the insurgency in their respective areas of expertise.

2lt. Jennymor Amod, a civilian military operations support officer with the 901st brigade based in Magpet town, said the brigade is stepping up ongoing peace and law enforcement operations.

“Since we were relocated here from the Bicol region in 2018, our brigade, under the Peace, Law Enforcement and Development Support (PLEDS) group of the task force to end the conflict armed local communist (ELCAC), connects residents of geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas. areas to the local government unit,” Amod said, emphasizing that it is about meeting the needs of residents through a community support program.

This year alone, area clearance assessments in the villages of Alegria and Del Carmen in President Roxas Town and Binay in Magpet were conducted to assess the development of military operations.

“Our brigade is also in information operations not only for residents but also for community leaders,” she noted, adding that in January this year, a forum of community leaders was organized in the Kidapawan City to orient barangay officials on ELCAC and the overall improved local integration program. (E-CLIP).

For the 602nd Brigade portion, Major Leonardo Javillonar, Brigade Operations Officer, noted that since there is a minimal New People’s Army presence in their area of ​​responsibility (AOR), their objective is to further strengthen their military and civilian efforts.

These include promoting an IED-free community, neutralizing the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, creating a strong alliance with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front, and settling the “rido” or wars of clans.

“For the promotion of a community free of Improvised Explosive Ordnance (IED), we always involve the Local Government Unit (LGU),” he said, adding that they encourage each LGU to have at least one K9 unit. , also advising establishment owners to install CCTV cameras.

Regarding BIFF neutralization initiatives, the 602nd Brigade, according to the official, is improving its combat capability to include combat and intelligence operations and strengthening coordination with other law enforcement agencies.

“We also have this Bahay Tagapagpalaya which is an intermediate version for the transformation of former rebels,” noted Javillonar.

As for creating a strong alliance with armed peace groups like MNLF and MILF, the army official said that they are strengthening initiatives to prevent clashes between them and the two groups since the brigade considers these groups as allies of peace.

For settlement of clan wars, Javillonar said that they are monitoring 11 clan wars in the cities of Pikit, Cotabato and Montawal, Maguindanao.

“We lobbied for the creation of a Conflict Resolution Advisory Council to address this issue. Additionally, in facilitating settlement, we focus on the communication, consultation and engagement aspects,” he emphasized.

The two representatives of the two army brigades presented their peace and security initiatives during the orientation of the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for media professionals in the province of Cotabato which was held on Wednesday.

The two representatives also called on the media to help the military provide the public with information on the government’s efforts to resolve the local communist armed conflict.

The media orientation was initiated by the Philippine Information Agency Region XII as part of its information, education and communication activities in support of ELCAC. (PIA-Cotabato City)