Military installs new brigade commander in Sulu

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philipppines — The military installed a new army commander to lead a brigade in eliminating the remaining Abu Sayyaf Group in Patikul town, Sulu, a military official said.

Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS) and 11th Infantry Division, officiated Wednesday the change of command between Brig. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio and Col. Benjamin Batara Jr. as the new commander of the 1102nd Brigade based in Camp Bud Datu, BarangayTagbak, Indanan town.

The 1102nd Infantry Ganarul Brigade is in charged with the security operation of Patikul town, formerly known as the hotbed of the Abu Sayyaf group in the island province.

Batara switched position with Patrimonio following the successful stint in degrading the ranks of the Abu Sayyaf group in Patikul, Sulu.

Patrimonio will head the 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT), formerly occupied by Batara.

Under Patrimonio’s leadership in the 1102nd Brigade, a number of key leaders of the Abu Sayyaf group were killed, including sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan who was the designated leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Sulu.

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Gonzales said Patrimonio's command enabled the local government to bring home the internally displaced people of Barangays Maligay and Kabbon Takas, both in Patikul.

Batara, on the other hand, headed the 1st BCT based in Indanan town. He also led the neutralization of nine Abu Sayyaf members and prevented suicide bombers from sneaking in Jolo, capital town of Sulu.

Gonzales emphasized to the two ground commanders to continue the "whole of the nation" approach in defeating the Abu Sayyaf group and accomplish the security mission in helping the provincial government bring stability and development in the island province.

"As the Division Commander, I will pour in the support and resources for the 1102nd Brigade to accomplish its mission. Also, I am hopeful that our partnership with the local government will continue to flourish for a strengthened community - for the benefit of the future generations of this province," Gonzales said. 

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