The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) on Thursday reported that it has attained “substantial gains” in the campaign against terrorism and lawlessness in its area of operation in the first semester of the year.
During the assessment and command conference held in Camp Navarro, Zamboanga City on July 7, the WestMinCom presented a summary report of its campaign against local terrorist groups covering the period from January to June 2021.
The command said that during this period, it has neutralized a total of 114 Abu Sayyaf Group members and seized 72 firearms.
WestMinCom also said that 104 members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) were killed, including high-value targets. A total of 77 firearms were seized from the group.
On the campaign against the communist terrorist group, the command said it has neutralized a total of 64 members and seized 69 firearms.
“Overall, through the sustained efforts of the command and the neutralization of its key leaders, the manpower and capabilities of the terrorist groups have totally degraded,” the WestMinCom said.
Meanwhile, on the campaign against the proliferation of loose firearms, the WestMincom said that a total of 305 high-powered and 101 low-powered firearms were voluntarily turned over to the different units of the command.
The Western Mindanao Command also improved its civil-military operations to incorporate the whole-of-nation approach in its campaign.
The platform of Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) and Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict is likewise maximized, particularly in delivering basic services to the target communities, it added.
“Our accomplishments have proven our fellow countrymen that we are doing our job right,” WestMinCom Commander Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr. said in a statement.
“For this, I commend each and every soldier, sailor, airmen, and marines for your contributions in our goal to attain peace, security, and development in our areas of operation,” he added.