ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Philippine Army has deployed additional battalion of troops to the province of Maguindanao, a military official disclosed Tuesday.
Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, Army’s 6th Infantry Division information officer, in a statement released Tuesday through the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said deployed to Maguindanao is the 34th Infantry Battalion.
Petinglay said the battalion, which is one of the operating units of the Army’s 8th Infantry Division, came from the province of Samar.
She said the battalion, which is headed by Lt. Col. Edgar delos Reyes, will augment the effort of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division in maintaining peace and security in its area of responsibility that covers the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur province and parts of North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.
She said the deployment marks the start of the holding phase wherein government forces will establish encampments in former lairs of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in order to prevent the return of the armed lawless group.
She said the deployment of forces will pave the way for the implementation of various developmental projects in the different communities within the area of responsibility of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division.