JTF Central says situation in Datu Paglas, Maguindanao back to normal

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao, May 9– Situation is back to normal hours after government forces thwarted the possible atrocities of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters under Karialan in the town of Datu Paglas, Maguindanao on Saturday, May 8.

Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, commander of the Joint Task Force Central and 6th Infantry Division, has called on the public to remain vigilant around their community and report any presence of suspicious individuals in order to preempt any extremist groups from conducting atrocities against the civilian populace.

Likewise, Uy thanked the residents and the local government unit of Datu Paglas for their swift action to inform government security forces about the presence of the extremist group in their town as early as Friday evening.

“The cooperation of the civilian populace and of the LGU paved the way for security forces to be pro-active in fulfilling their duty and immediately take necessary action against the threat group,” Maj. Gen. Uy noted.

As early as 10:30 a.m., Saturday, the national highway connecting Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat and Makilala, North Cotabato have already been re-opened to public commuters.

Also on Saturday afternoon, residents who were displaced in the armed clash have returned to their communities while the public market and other establishments in the area also resumed operations to allow Muslim residents to prepare food for their observance of the Holy Month of Ramadan. 

The leaderships of the JTF Central and LGU Datu Paglas reiterate that there were no hostage-taking that happened and no infrastructures and establishments in the town proper that were damaged, contrary to earlier reports being circulated.

Further, the JTF Central also clarifies that the video of a wounded soldier being shared in social media did not happen in Datu Paglas. “Sa awa ng Dyos, wala namang sibilyan sa lugar at mga tropa ng gobyerno ang nasaktan sa pangyayari,” Maj. Gen Uy added.

Reports from civilians tell about sighting several extremists being carried away as they withdrew from the fight scene, indicating that the BIFF suffered several casualties during the exchange of fires. Numerous improvised explosive devices were also recovered as the extremist group tried to delay pursuing forces by placing or planting IEDs along the road.

As of this report, government forces continue to conduct pursuit operations against the said group to preempt them from threatening other towns in Maguindanao Province. (DPAO-6ID)


Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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