Thursday Feb, 22 2024 09:50:07 PM

AFP cites 6th ID units for anti-NPA campaign feats

Mindanao Peace Process • 10:15 AM Fri Dec 23, 2022
John M. Unson
The awards boosted the morale of personnel of recipient-units. (From 603rd Infantry Brigade) 

COTABATO CITY - Three units of the 6th Infantry Division got special awards during Wednesday’s 87th anniversary celebration of the Armed Forces for having neutralized two major fronts of the New People’s Army in Sultan Kudarat province.

The 603rd Infantry Brigade and its 7th and 37th Infantry Battalions each got an Armed Forces of the Philippines Campaign Streamer for having decimated the NPA’s self-styled West and East Daguma Sub-Regional Commands-Far South Mindanao Region via recent combat engagements and community peacebuilding projects supported by local government units.

The three units are under the Army’s 6th Infantry Division, based in Camp Siongco in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao del Norte and covers six provinces and five cities in central Mindanao.

Major Gen. Roy Galido, commander of 6th ID, said Friday they were elated with the grant by the AFP’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Bartolome Vicente Bacarro, of a Campaign Streamer each to the three Army units, securing upland towns in Sultan Kudarat.

Local executives in Sultan Kudarat have confirmed that Col. Michael Santos, who is commander of the 603rd Infantry Brigade, and subordinates Lt. Col. John Paul Baldomar and Lt. Col. Frederick Chicote of the 37th and 7th IBs, respectively, were instrumental in securing the surrender, since January, of more than 50 NPAs, among them senior commanders.

Personnel of both battalions had killed 19 NPAs, seven of them experts in fabrication of improvised explosive devices, in encounters in upland areas in Sultan Kudarat in the past 11 months.

Members of different municipal peace and order councils had told media outfits early on that the feats of the two battalions, operating under the joint supervision of Santos and Galido, ended what was for them a brutal reign, in the adjoining Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato provinces of the NPA’s notorious East and West Daguma Sub Regional Commands.

Both fronts, feared for ruthlessness on communities that deny NPA guerillas sanctuaries, have a reputation for attacking business establishments and public transportations whose owners refuse to pay “protection money” on a monthly basis.

Many of the NPAs who have returned to the fold of law through the joint intercession of municipal governments and the three units that each got a Campaign Streamer last Wednesday had been reintroduced to mainstream society, according to Galido. 



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