Civilians safe in anti BIFF drive

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ZAMBOANGA CITY : The Philippine military continues with its offensive against groups blamed for the series of terror attacks in Mindanao as security officials assured the safety of civilians.

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Col. Melquiades Feliciano, commander of the Army’s 601st Infantry Brigade, even attended the graduation ceremony at Mamasapano National High School in Maguindanao province to show that the ongoing campaign will not affect the conduct of the commencement exercises in different schools here.

“The military gives importance to education because we believe that it is an access to better opportunities that will bring peace and development in Mindanao. This commencement exercise exemplifies a milestone in seeking peace in light with recent hostilities between the government forces and the local and foreign terrorist,” Feliciano, who was also one of the guest speakers in the event, said.

Security forces launched fresh operations against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and are pursuing other terrorists including Basit Usman, a notorious bomber.

For his part, General Edmundo Pangilinan, commander of the 6th Infantry Division, assured the public that government troops would to secure civilian areas from lawless elements.

He said troops would also help construct more than three dozen school buildings and a mosque in Maguindanao as part of the government’s peace and development efforts in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Pangilinan also turned over three tricycles, three tractors, and dry goods to families of civilians killed during the bloody clash between police commandos and rebels in Mamasapano on January 25.

Pangilinan also launched a medical and dental mission to the affected area and provided free health services and medicines to the local residents.

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