Army cites gains vs il­le­gal drugs in Min­danao

Manila Bulletin - - Mindanao News -

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguin­danao (PNA) — Mil­i­tary author­i­ties here said Fri­day that its cam­paign against il­le­gal drugs in Min­danao, in sup­port to the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP), has been gain­ing ground.

Col. Mark­ton Abo, speak­ing for the Sixth In­fantry Divi­sion, re­it­er­ated the di­rec­tive of Maj. Gen. Car­l­ito Galvez that there should be no let up in the drive against sus­pected drug lords or drug pro­tec­tors in Maguin­danao, North Cota­bato, Sul­tan Ku­darat and part of Lanao del Sur, the ar­eas of op­er­a­tion of the Kampi­lan divi­sion.

Abo said that, since July 1 last year, the mil­i­tary has been able to con­fis­cate more than 220 as­sorted high pow­ered firearms that in­cluded cal. 50 and cal. 60 ma­chine guns, as­sault ri­fles, mor­tar rounds and mor­tar launch­ers and thou­sands of am­mu­ni­tion in anti-drug op­er­a­tions.

Abo cited the mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions against Mayor Mon­tasir Sa­bal of Tal­i­tay, Maguin­danao and his brother Ab­dul­wa­hab, the town's vice mayor, sus­pected to be in­volved in il­le­gal drug op­er­a­tions.

The sib­lings were in­cluded in Pres­i­dent Duterte's list of "narco-politi­cians" although they ve­he­mently de­nied in­volve­ment in il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties.

Mil­i­tary led op­er­a­tions also re­sulted in the re­cov­ery of as­sorted firearms in Mid­sayap, North Cota­bato and Datu Odin Sin­suat, Maguin­danao, but most of the sus­pected drug lords re­mained at large.

Abo stressed the Army's 601st In­fantry Brigade in Tacurong City, 602nd In­fantry Brigade in North Cota­bato, 603rd In­fantry Brigade in Maguin­danao and the Philip­pine Marines in Sul­tan Ku­darat are pre­pared to in­ten­sify their drive against il­le­gal drugs in an ef­fort to save the fu­ture of the younger gen­er­a­tion.

Abo noted that there are at least three con­cerns that have kept the 6th ID of­fi­cials busy. Th­ese in­clude an­tiil­le­gal drug op­er­a­tion, anti-ter­ror­ist op­er­a­tion and civic-mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion.

Maguin­danao hosts the out­lawed Bangsamoro Is­lamic Free­dom Fight­ers that oc­ca­sion­ally dis­rupt peace and or­der by launch­ing guerilla at­tacks against govern­ment forces, sus­pected drug lords and other law­less el­e­ments.

Galvez has sought the co­op­er­a­tion of lo­cal govern­ment of­fi­cials in the cam­paign against il­le­gal drugs.

He told re­porters that while the Army was busy help­ing in Pres­i­dent Duterte's all-out war against il­le­gal drugs, it con­tin­ues to build strong civil-mil­i­tary partnership and peace ad­vo­cacy.

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