READY FOR DUTY. The Army’s 6th Infantry Division activates Task Group 'Bangis' Tuesday (July 12, 2022) to beef up security forces against remnants of the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Central Mindanao. The task force’s mission is to dismantle for good the NPA’s Guerilla Front Musa, the only remaining communist group in the region. (Photo courtesy of 6ID)

CAMP SIONGCO, Maguindanao – Military authorities here have activated a 500-strong task group that will help beef up security presence against the communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Central Mindanao.

Major Gen. Roberto Capulong, the Army’s 6th Infantry Division commander, said Wednesday the activation of the battalion-size unit was in support of the goal of dismantling NPA Guerilla Front Musa, the only remaining rebel unit in the area.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started,” Capulong said, adding that the task force's main strength will be concentrated in the area of responsibility of the Army’s 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade. It covers the provinces of Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, and South Cotabato.

Despite the task force's creation as an ad hoc body, Capulong said it will fulfill the commitment of the 6ID to the commander-in-chief, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., in the campaign against the communist rebel group.

“This will significantly contribute to our continuous quest for long-lasting peace, and sustainable development in Central Mindanao,” he said.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

The Anti-Terrorism Council also formally designated the NDF as a terrorist organization on June 23, 2021, citing it as “an integral and inseparable part” of the CPP-NPA that was created in April 1973. (PNA)