Marines from anti-terrorist operation in Sulu to reinforce counter-insurgency operation in Luzon
Marines who fought against terrorists in Sulu will reinforce the counter-insurgency operation in Luzon, a military official said Friday.
Lt. Elmar Salvador, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Northern Luzon Command public information chief, said the troops of 4th Marine Brigade (4MBde), and Marine Battalion Landing Team 8 (MBLT8) was welcomed by Commander of Northern Luzon Command Lt. Gen. Ernesto Torres Jr during their arrival at the the Laoag International Airport in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte on Thursday.
Salvador said the welcome ceremony for the marine troops was also attended by Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Manotoc, Naval Forces Northern Luzon Commander Francisco Tagamolila Jr, local chief executives and commanding officers of Nolcom units.
In his message, Manotoc expressed his gratitude to the men and women in uniform for always answering the call of the people and prioritizing the well-being and peace and order in their communities as he referred to them as the “true public servants.”
Salvador said "with more than six years of service in combating terrorism in the province of Sulu, the 4th Marine Brigade and Marine Brigade Landing Terminal 8 were deployed in Luzon to augment ground forces involved in internal security operations in Northern and Central Luzon against the remaining units of the Communist Terrorist Group".
''The Sulu-based marine units which were previously under the Western Mindanao Command’s joint area of operations have been responsible for the recovery of 572 high-powered firearms, 222 Abu Sayyaf surrenderees, recovery of smuggled goods worth more than 21 million, and facilitated the settlement of 23 Rido or clan feuds during their deployment in Sulu, and are now repositioned under Nolcom’s operational control to support its thrusts towards ending local communist armed conflict in the north and central Luzon,'' said Salvador.
In his message, Torres lauded the arriving troops’ accomplishments in Sulu by transforming it “from terrorism to tourism” as he hoped that the Marines will perform well in their new area of operations.
He also expressed Nolcom’s all-out support to the marine units in confronting threats on all fronts to ensure peace, security, and development in Nolcom’s joint area of operations.
“We will optimize the employment of your capabilities as a unit in order to make sure we win the fight against communist terrorists in Nolcom's joint area of operations" said Torres.
Salvador said the newly- deployed Marines in Northern Luzon will also aid in ensuring the safety and continuous development of the communities in the area as well as provide support to stakeholders and government agencies in performing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Operations (HADR) and Joint Law Enforcement Support Operations. Robina Asido/DMS