Task Force Davao To Disband Soon?

Mar. 30, 2007

Out They Go? The military has been told to prepare a pullout contingency plan for Task Force Davao. (davaotoday.com photo by Barry Ohaylan)

DAVAO CITY — Despite recent talk about the possible disbandment of the Task Force Davao, some higher officials in the military still believe that the composite police-military unit is going to stay in the city.

The military’s East Mindanao Command chief, Rodolfo Obaniana, said Thursday that they have not received any order for the termination of Task Force Davao, which was created in 2003 after a series of bombings rocked Davao City.

However, Obaniana admitted that they have been told to prepare for a contingency plan in case Task Force Davao is disbanded.

Obaniana recalled that the talk started when the Commission on Human Rights pronounced that military elements in urban areas have allegedly violated civil and political rights of the people.

But I dont believe that Task Force Davao will be disintegrated as it has apparently did more good here in Davao city especially in addressing terrorism.

He noted that the Task Force Davao was formed right after the Sasa bombing in 2003 and since then it has secured the city from terror acts.

On Parade. Members of the Task Force Davao participate in parade in the recent Araw ng Dabaw celebrations. (davaotoday.com photo by Barry Ohaylan)

Obaniana believed that the economic development in the city and in the region is one clear indicator of how Task Force Davao has succeeded in providing security in the area.

However, the official is open to any possibility especially that it has received an advice from Manila telling them to think of a contingency plan.

Now if the disintegration will be pushed, I can guarantee Task Force Davao elements still to be retained as they are special CAFGUS that are paid by the local government of the city., he explained.

It is only the president who can order the dismantling of the task force groups in Davao city, General Santos, and Zamboanga, if and when they are no longer needed in the community.

The threat is still around and it only shows that these forces are very much needed in the area, Obaniana said. In the end, it would still be the LGU and the populace that will decide if we are still welcome in this city, he said. (PIA XI/Mai Gevera)

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