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More troops will be deployed by Westmincom for poll duty in Zambo Sibugay.

Additional soldiers are being deployed by the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) to ensure calm and orderly national and local elections on May 9 in Zamboanga Sibugay province.

“During the election time, our soldiers will be deployed to safeguard the safety of the people.” In a statement issued Friday, Lt. Gen. Rosario Jr., head of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), said, “We would exhaust all of our efforts to preempt any terror scheme of peace breakers.”

On Thursday, Rosario met with Zamboanga Sibugay Governor Wilter Palma during the Westmincom chief’s visit to the province.

During the tour, Rosario was accompanied by Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, head of the Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade.

The two officials talked about the steps that need to be taken to ensure fair and peaceful elections, and they both agreed that the safety and security of the people is their first priority.

Although a town vice mayor was slain in 2021, Palma informed the public that there are no immediate election-related threats in Zamboanga Sibugay.

On Feb. 26, 2021, two members of the Anwar Ansang Criminal Group shot and killed Mabuhay town Vice Mayor Restituto Calonge and engineer Edgar Pampanga in front of the town government.

Hadji Abduhari Gapor, a municipal employee, and Gregorio Cenas, a retired police officer, were both injured in the incident.

In the region, the Anwar Ansang Criminal Group is involved in gun-for-hire, piracy, and illegal narcotics trafficking.

Meanwhile, Palma praised the troops for maintaining peace and assisting in the province’s growth.

Palma promised the military’s continuing support in all of its activities.

Rosario commended Palma and the province’s municipal authorities for their continuous support, which contributed to significant military victories under Westmincom’s command and direction.

With a population of 669,840 as of the 2020 census, Zamboanga Sibugay is made up of 16 towns divided into two congressional districts and further subdivided into 389 barangays.

Rosario also investigated the situation of the troops at the 102nd Infantry Brigade headquarters in Barangay Sanito, Ipil, the province’s capital, during his visit to Zamboanga Sibugay.

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