MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA)—The army brigade in Lanao del Sur urged local chief executives in the province to activate their Task Force on Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) and Task Force on Ending Local Armed Conflict (TF-ELAC).
LtCol Eduard Sia-ed, the executive officer of the 103rd Infantry Brigade (Bde), made the announcement, March 14, during the first quarter joint meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council and Provincial Anti-Drugs Abuse Council.
In his report, Sia-ed said the province is not only confronting the Dawlah Islamiyah (DI) Maute group but also members of Sub Regional Committee (SRC) 5 of the New People’s Army.
He said they mostly work with four platoons, and 103 people have been identified as being part of the group. Most of them are in the municipalities of Butig, Sultan Dumalondong, Lumbaca Unayan, Marogong, Tubaran, and Pagayawan.
"Through our recent operations in the past two weeks, maraming nadiscover na mga camps, two in Kapai and the recent one yung nakita kanina in Maguing. It indicates na nag-eexpand talaga sila sa atin," he said.
(Through our recent operations in the past two weeks, many camps have been discovered, including two in Kapai and the recent one that was found earlier in Maguing. It indicates that they are expanding here)
The army officer also noted that the communist terrorist group has already established organizations in the hinter barangays of Kapai to ensure that they have a place to run to when the military is conducting intensified operations in Bukidnon.
"The sad part is that they go near the camps of MILF and MNLF para ma-confuse yung (to confuse our) security forces natin," he added.
On the other hand, the DI group, according to the army, has only 46 personnel. However, the group is capable of producing landmines and other explosives.
"We are keeping pressure on this group, and they are on the run. The latest is that they are crossing to the areas of Maguindanao, so we are coordinating our efforts with the other government forces in Maguindanao and the coastal municipalities," he further said.
The 103rd Bde cited that the activation of the TF ELCAC and ELAC from the provincial level down to the municipal level would help solve the issues being raised by the terrorist groups to organize and recruit. It would also isolate the said armed groups and cut their resource generation activities so that they could not further expand their operations. (APB/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur)