A TOP military official is set to redeploy forces to sustain the gains in the campaign against the terrorist groups in Mindanao.
Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) chief, said some of the troops pulled out from Marawi City will beef up the security of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit and Related Meetings in November in Manila.
Galvez said the others will be redeployed to Sulu and Maguindanao provinces to pursue the Abu Sayyaf bandits and affiliate members of the Maute terror group, respectively.
Galvez said the redeployment of the troops is in line with the marching orders of President Rodrigo Duterte to sustain the momentum of the campaign against the terrorists.
“The instruction of the President is very clear. We have to clear all areas in Mindanao of Daesh-inspired terror groups. We have to eliminate them in our society,” he said.
Among the troops that were withdrawn from Marawi City are from the Army’s 3rd, 4th and 5th Scout Ranger Battalions.
Galvez said they were given a free-hand concerning the deployment of forces citing the Army’s 1st Infantry Division will focus on clearing Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte provinces “from the influence of the Maute group.”
Marawi City, the site of the almost five-month fierce battle between the government troops and Maute group, is the capital of Lanao del Sur.