Military deploys three battalions in Davao City from Sulu
The military has sent one battalion to Davao City from Sulu, making it a total of three battalions in the area, an official said Thursday.
Major. Gen. Rafael Valencia, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Battalion, said the 16 th Infantry Battalion arrived in Davao City last week from Sulu.
“They were already deployed, but it is for acclimatization and familiarization in the area so we are giving them cultural sensitivity training. We invited tribal leaders for them to be familiarized on the customs and tradition here,” Valencia said.
Valencia said the additional battalion with around 400 to 500 troops is the third battalion in Davao City.
He said the additional troops were deployed following the series of attack conducted by the rebels in the city late last month.
“The NPA attacked the civilian target in the city so it highlighted that we have security gap so we have to increase our security especially that Davao is expanding, so the population center, subdivisions and then plants, there are a lot of constructions,” Valencia said.
“We have now one brigade controlling the army units in Davao City. So we have 103rd brigade. It has now two battalions, the existing 3rd IB and the newly-arrived 16th IB,” he said.
“We have have two infantry battalions operating here in the hinterlands plus we have Task Force Davao to secure the urban, which we called downtown Davao against terrorist threat,” Valencia added.
Valencia said Task Force Davao is an “oversized battalion” which is “bigger than a battalion at several units, but highly trained, combating terrorism”.
“Davao City is like a big province, and then the area is big as well, especially the population canter, so we need to address the gaps by bringing in additional unit,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS