6th ID to intensify efforts versus religious extremism

Mindanao Peace Process • Mon Oct 23, 2017 05:19 PM  •  84   0
By John Unson
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Search and rescue personnel of the 6th Infantry Division displayed their equipment at Camp Siongco on Monday. (JOHN UNSON)
Search and rescue personnel of the 6th Infantry Division displayed their equipment at Camp Siongco on Monday. (JOHN UNSON)
MAGUINDANAO ---- Three new Army generals in central Mindanao are to work with local officials in preventing the spread of violent religious extremists in the region. 

Generals Diosdado Carreon of the 601st Brigade, Jesus Sarsagat of the 603rd Brigade and Bismark Soliba of the 1st Mechanized Brigade were given promotion honors on Friday by the Army’s 6thInfantry Division at Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao.
 

The traditional “donning of ranks” on the three new generals was led by Major Gen. Arnel Dela Vega of 6th ID and Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, commander of the Philippine Army.
 

Dela Vega said Carreon, Sarsagat and Soliba, whose units are under his operational control, will engage in peace-building activities meant to quell threats from local groups claiming allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. 

“They shall work closely with the mayors and provincial governors. They will also tap the help of the academe, the Muslim and Christian religious communities to achieve their peace objectives,” Dela Vega said. 

Soliba is the most senior among the three new Army generals in central Mindanao. 

He graduated from the Philippine Military Academy in 1985. Carreon and Sarsagat belong to PMA’s class ‘87 and ’88, respectively. 

A classmate of Sarsagat, Chief Supt. Graciano Mijares, assumed on Friday as director of the Police Regional Office-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in Camp SK Pendatun in Parang town in Maguindanao. 

The battalions under Sarsagat are deployed in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are component provinces of ARMM. 

Carreon, first assigned in central Mindanao as a junior officer, was colonel yet when he assumed early this year as commander of the 601st Brigade based in Tacurong City.
 

“Our assignment here in central Mindanao provided us enough learning on the socio-economic, political and cultural dimensions of the local communities, all stakeholders to the Mindanao peace process,” Carreon told this news outfit Monday at the sideline of 6th ID’s promotion honors for them.
 

The event was one of the highlights of Monday’s celebration of the 30th founding anniversary of 6thID.
 

Units of 6th ID, also known as the “Kampilan Division,” are scattered in central Mindanao’s adjoining North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao provinces.
 

The division also covers parts of Lanao del Sur, whose provincial capital is Marawi City. 

Its 30th anniversary program was also capped off with a parade of its troops geared for battle and its personnel trained in disaster response operation and rescue missions.
 

Besides its community-protection thrusts, the 6th ID is also helping capacitate local government units in emergency and rescue operations needed whenever communities are affected by conflicts or hit by calamities.
 

Dela Vega said their main concern now is to insulate the local communities from infiltration by Islamic militants espousing animosity towards non-Muslims and the government. 
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