Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr lauds Philippine troops’ peace efforts

2023 July 22

CAMP VISIT. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. pays a visit to the Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division (1ID) at Camp Major Cesar Sang-An in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur on Friday (July 21, 2023). During his camp visit, Marcos met with 1ID officials to discuss peace and security updates in the region

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday commended the Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry Division (1ID) and the Joint Task Force (JTF) – Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao (ZamPeLan) for their relentless efforts to maintain peace and order in Mindanao.

During his visit to Camp Major Cesar Sang-an in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur, Marcos congratulated the 1ID and the JTF ZamPeLan for their good work, saying they must be “very proud” of their dedication to fighting for peace.

“Dahil maganda ang performance ninyo, lagi namin i-expect sa inyo na laging maganda rin ang performance ninyo (Because of your good performance, we always expect that you will always perform well). Pero (But) you have never failed the country,” he said. “You have never failed to answer the call of duty with honor, with pride, and with the passion and the love for the Republic of the Philippines.”

The President told the troops that they are now tasked to transform themselves from warfighters to peacemakers as the country pursues the peace process.

He emphasized the importance of unity and bringing lasting peace to the country.

“Papunta na tayo sa dulo ng (We are geared towards the finalization of the) peace process and that’s why we are very optimistic about all of the development and the progress that we will be seeing in the area,” Marcos said.

About 200 attendees, composed of officials and troops of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and 1ID, were present during Marcos’ camp visit.

He also met with the 1ID officials to discuss peace and security updates in the region.

Established in 1936, the 1ID is the Army’s unit supervising security operations against threats in the Zamboanga Peninsula, including the Lanao provinces and Misamis Occidental.

On the other hand, the JTF ZamPeLan consists of the 1ID, Naval Task Group – ZamPeLan, and Tactical Operations Group 9 covering the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, and some parts of Misamis Oriental.

JTF ZamPeLan confronts the communist groups and the Daulah Islamiyah – Maute Group (DI-MG) and monitors the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.

Some of the task force’s accomplishments as of this month are the dismantling of six of seven communist guerilla fronts in its area of responsibility, the recovery of 48 enemy firearms, and the neutralization of four high-value individuals during the March 2022 encounter with the DI-MG.

It also neutralized the top leadership of DI-MG, Abu Zacharia, the Amir of DI-Philippines and overall Amir of the Islamic State – East Asia on June 14. 

Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos (PNA)