DAVAO CITY – The 10th Infantry Division of the Armed Forces of the Philippines will augment its forces in Davao Region with the deployment of the 11th Scout Rangers for its continuing counter-insurgency operations in Compostela Valley.

This was announced by the Infantry’s spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Llewelyn Binasoy during their regular AFP/Philippine National Police Press Corps Forum on Wednesday.

The company-sized 11th Scout Rangers are coming from Surigao province.

Binasoy particularly cited the recent attacks of the revolutionary group New People’s Army in the province on mining and other government projects as reason for their focus in the province.

Binasoy cited the torching by the NPA on mining equipment of a foreign mining firm in Maco.

He also claimed the NPAs torched an electric tower in Maco, equipment for a housing project in Monkayo and another set of government equipment in Pantukan.

The NPA owned up to the torching of mining firms in Maco and also in Pantukan.

(Story here: Two mining firms in Comval torched by NPAs )

Binasoy said there will be more deployments coming into the province, known as one of the strongholds of the NPA in the country.

“More is to come. As of now our main emphasis is on Comval,” he said.

The military estimated the NPA strength in the province at around 2,000 guerrilla fighters.

He said the 10th ID has deployed four battalions in the province or an estimated 1,200 soldiers including the 25th Infantry Battalion, 46th, 66th  and 71st.  The 1001st Brigade is also deployed in the province.

The human rights group Karapatan Southern Mindanao said Davao Region has been “the most militarized region” in the country with the deployment of 29 battalions at an estimate of 8,700 soldiers.

The group blamed the AFP for perpetrating human rights violations in the region including the extrajudicial killings of 33 persons and illegal arrests of 36 activists and sectoral leaders.  (Tyrone A.Velez/davaotoday.com)


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