• Bicol’s best soldiers off to Mindanao


    LEGAZPI CITY: Soldiers belonging from Army’s 42 Infantry Battalion regarded as the best government troops in the region were deployed to Mindanao on Sunday for a combat mission to augment the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) troops.

    The 42nd Infantry Battalion will augment the forces conducting combat operations in the areas of Zamboanga, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi (Zambasulta) in compliance with President Benigno Aquino 3rd directive to step-up the campaign against different threat groups in Mindanao.

    Aquino’s directive came following a series of attacks on government forcers and crime incidents perpetrated by members of terror groups in western Mindanao the past weeks.

    This is not the first time that Bicol’s best soldiers were sent to Mindanao for combat operations against the lawless elements specifically the terrorist groups like Abu Sayaff, Quidilla said.

    The region’s elite soldiers have been deployed to augment government forcers in similar situation involving lawless elements in the past.

    Following their re-posting, the Army’s 901st Infantry Brigade under the command of Col. Claudio Yucot covering the provinces of Albay and Catanduanes, will assume responsibility for the internal security operations over the 4th and 5th districts of Camarines Sur. One Reconnaissance Company will also assume the vacated area of 42 Infantry Battalion in addition to 901st Brigade units.

    “The redeployment of 42IB will not affect the counter-insurgency campaign of the 9th ID since Camarines Sur is now a peaceful province which was declared as conflict manageable and ready for further development (CMRD) 2nd quarter this year,” Quidilla added.

    Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Thursday said more government troops will boost military and police forces in intensified operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who were holding hostages in Sulu.

    Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-staff Gen. Hernando Iriberri has met with key military commanders in Mindanao to personally discuss the fresh offensives against the Abu Sayyaf and other threat groups in the region.

    Meanwhile, Police Chief Supt. Agosto Marquez Jr., acting PNP regional director in Bicol, presided the send off ceremony for the soldiers at Naga Airport, with attendance by their respective families.

    He said that he is confident that the 42IB is capable enough to face the challenges in their new mission having adjudged as the best battalion of the division.


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