ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) has announced it attained substantial gains in the campaign against terrorism and lawlessness in its area of operation during the first semester of this year.
Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., commander of Westmincom, said on Thursday that the first-semester campaign assessment showed the command has neutralized 114 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits and confiscated 72 firearms in the campaign against the local terrorist group.
Vinluan said 104 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), including 11 high-value targets, were neutralized and 77 firearms were seized.
He added that 64 New People’s Army (NPA) terrorists were neutralized and 69 firearms were seized in the fight against the communist terrorist group (CTG).
“Overall, through the sustained efforts of the command and the neutralization of its key leaders, the manpower and capabilities of the terrorist groups have totally degraded,” he said in a statement.
In the drive against the proliferation of loose firearms, a total of 305 high-powered and 101 low-powered firearms were voluntarily turned over to the different units under Westmincom during the first six months of this year, according to Vinluan.
He said the Westmincom has incorporated the whole-of-nation approach in its campaign as the command continuously bolsters its civil-military operations.
The Westmincom chief said the platforms of Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) and Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict (TF-ELAC) are maximized particularly in delivering basic services to the target communities.
TF-ELAC is a localized version of its national counterpart.
“Our accomplishments have proven our fellow countrymen that we are doing our job right. For this, I commend each and every soldier, sailor, airmen, and marines for your contributions in our goal to attain peace, security, and development in our areas of operation,” he said.
Meanwhile, he reminded the ground commanders and the soldiers that the people of Western and Central Mindanao regions are relying heavily on the military, hence, best efforts must be exerted to a more secured Mindanao. (PNA)