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Westmincom deploys elite troops to Basilan

The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) has deployed a battalion of elite troops from Sulu province to boost the campaign against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in Basilan province.


Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas, the acting Westmincom commander, said Friday the Army’s 5th Scout Ranger Battalion (5SRB) will man areas previously assigned to the Army’s 68th Infantry Battalion (IB).


The 5SRB troops led by Lt. Col. Eugenio Baquiran were ferried Thursday to Lamitan City, Basilan after more than three years of assignment in Sulu.


“The battalion’s transfer to Basilan was long overdue as replacement of the 68IB, which was redeployed to Mindoro in January,” Rojas said.


The 68IB was assigned to Mindoro after more than a five-year stint against the ASG bandits in Basilan.


“The 5SRB will fill the vacuum left by the 68IB to keep the momentum going of improving the security condition in Basilan,” Rojas said.


A send-off ceremony was accorded to the 5SRB on Wednesday, in recognition of their invaluable service rendered during their deployment in Sulu, which contributed to the numerous feats of the Joint Task Force (JTF)-Sulu.


Maj. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, JTF-Sulu commander, expressed his gratitude to the 5SRB for their invaluable contribution to the accomplishment of JTF Sulu’s mission.


Source: Philippines News Agency