Group slams troop deployment in Armm

By Malu Cadelina Manar


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KIDAPAWAN CITY — The militant Suara Bangsamoro fears that deployment of additional Army troops in conflict-affected Shariff Kabungsuan province in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) may result to violence, which will lead to massive displacement of Moro people.

Amira Lidasan, national chair of Suara Bangsamoro, said the 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion (SRB) was deployed near Camp Darapanan — one of the biggest headquarters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) located in Sultan Kudarat town in Shariff Kabungsuan.

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“Their (Army troops) presence in the area provokes conflict instead of peace,” said Lidasan.

The group has also questioned the troop movement as it was done “just in time for the Armm elections.”

Colonel Julieto Ando, spokesman for the 6th Infantry Division, said the troop movement in most areas in the Armm is part of their preparations for the upcoming August polls.

Ando said the Army’s 2nd Scout Ranger Battalion (SRP) in Sultan Kudarat is part of the 7,000 troops to be deployed for Armm elections.

The SRB’s base is at the 6th Division Artillery Regiment in Pigcalagan village in Sultan Kudarat, Shariff Kabungsuan.

The 6th ID Artillery Regiment is just few kilometers away from MILF’s Camp Darapanan.

“The movement does not mean we’re gearing up for a war in Mindanao. There’s no truth to that,” Ando said.

But the military, he stressed, maintains its defensive position.

“If they would be attacked, then of course, they will respond,” said Ando.

Ando meanwhile told Lidasan: It’s better for Suara to convince the MILF to stop its offensive so they would not doubt the 2nd SRB. Many civilians and business establishments are affected by (these) offensives.”(SunstarDavao)

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