Add’l Army battalion to secure Northern Mindanao vs NPA
The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Eastern Mindanao Command has deployed an Army battalion to Northern Mindanao amid the threat of communist rebels there.
The 65th Infantry Battalion led by Ltc. Richard Rabaca was formally welcomed at the headquarters of the 4th Infantry Division in Camp Evangelista in Cagayan de Oro City on Wednesday.
“The deployment would help hasten 4th Infantry Division’s operations to defeat the terrorist NPA. The full might of the battalion shall be employed against armed terrorist, while the battalion will also initiate community-based dialogues to enlighten the members of illegal secret associations organized by terrorist NPAs in the villages,” the 4th Division said in a statement.
A battalion is usually composed of 400 to 500 soldiers. The 65IB was pulled out from Bicol region.
Maj. Gen. Ronald Villanueva, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, said the battalion would still have to undergo an orientation before deployment.
“We’ll just have to place them inside for reorientation and reeducation muna sa area namin because they came from another area. Kailangan namin silang turuan ng mga sensitivities ng area (We need to teach them first about the sensitivities of the area),” he said.
With the additional battalion, there are now about 6,000 soldiers deployed in the Northern Mindanao and Caraga region. /je
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