New division to Sulu seeks to end ''threats to national security'': AFP
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Wednesday a new division to be sent to Sulu will aim to end the security threat from the Abu Sayyaf and other bandit and criminal groups in the province.
Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman, said Infantry Brigades, two Infantry Battalions; two Special Forces Battalions, among others, in the area will initially man the 11th Infantry Division.
“Other component units and capabilities to find, fix, shoot, move, and communicate that will fully compliment the Division will be gradually filled up until 2022,” Arevalo said in a statement.
AFP recommended the activation of a new unit instead of moving an existing one after President Rodrigo Duterte expressed concern security forces continue to incur casualties in Sulu.
“The unit shall be oriented, armed, and equipped to address the peculiarity of the enemy, weather, and terrain; as well as enemy techniques, tactics and procedure; and other variables that are unique to the Island Province of Sulu,” Arevalo said.
Arevalo said the proposed activation of the 11th Infantry Division was on December 1 but the proposal is being finalized for submission to the Department of National Defense.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines, in support to national leadership, is determined to engage squarely and defeat decisively all threats to national security that are harboring in Sulu,” he said.
“In successfully attaining that objective, we will be able to end once and for all the menace that the Abu Sayyaf Group and other bandit and criminal groups bring in Mindanao and the terror they export in other parts of the country and in Southern Philippines,” he added.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in a TV interview Tuesday said Duterte will visit Sulu on December 17 to create the new division. Ella Dionisio/DMS