Marines coming to secure Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 13:39

Marines will be deployed anytime in Zamboanga City to beef up security and make residents feel safe amid current apprehension of another possible attack from the Moro National Liberation Front Misuari faction.

The Armed Forces of Philippines in Manila disclosed that Army soldiers will be deployed in the Muslim province of Sulu to replace Marines who will be sent to Zamboanga City which was attacked by some 500 MNLF gunmen on September 13, 2013, leaving some 300 people dead and displacing over 100,000.

Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said the Marines will augment the forces of the 500-member military Task Force Zamboanga to counter any terror threats and to preempt the Abu Sayyaf from staging another kidnapping similar to what happened in Barangay Labuan on August 18 in which a grocery store owner was snatched by gunmen disguised as lawmen.

“If you visit Zamboanga, it appears that the people still have fears. I don’t want that,” Catapang said, referring to fears of another MNLF attack.

He said the 2nd Marine Brigade in Sulu has five battalions of around 500 officers and enlisted personnel each. That number will be reduced to around 1,000 to 1,500 Marines, with soldiers from the Compostela Valley-based Army 10th Infantry Division taking the place of the redeployed Marines.

“Zamboanga residents  are more comfortable with the Marines,” Catapang said, adding Marines have been assigned to secure the city in the past.

Sulu, an Abu Sayyaf stronghold, will not be left undefended, however. Catapang said the AFP will have 3,000 Marines and soldiers deployed in the province.