JTF KALILINTAD. Lt. Col. Allen Van Estrera, Army’s 37th Infantry Battalion (IB) commander (seated center), listens to one of the officials of Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat during the organizational meeting of the “Joint Task Force Kalilintad (Peace)” held at the headquarters of 37IB in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat on Saturday (Oct. 17, 2020). The task force was formed to address the recurring problem of clan wars in the area that have cost the lives of residents and the destruction of properties in the past. (Photo courtesy of 37IB)
COTABATO CITY – To ensure the safety of residents in coastal Palimbang town in Sultan Kudarat province, the local government unit, and the military have formed a task force for peace and security in the area.
Aptly called “Joint Task Force (JTF) Kalilintad (Peace)”, the group is composed of the Army’s 37th Infantry Battalion (37IB), the local police force, town officials, Muslim religious leaders, and other stakeholders.
Lt. Col. Allen Van Estrera, the 37IB commander, said the task force was formed amid the recurring displacement of Moro civilians due to “rido” (clan war) in Palimbang’s villages.
“Up to this time, the residents of the municipality of Palimbang continue to be affected by atrocities committed by its own people due to ‘rido’,” Estrera said during the JTF organizational meeting on Saturday.
He said feuding families oftentimes drag relatives into armed hostilities that resulted in killings and destruction of properties.
With the support of Palimbang Mayor Joenime Kapina, community elders, together with former field commanders of the local Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro National Liberation Front factions, were invited to be part of the task force to help address the problem.
Estrera said the task force was primarily aimed at organizing all key stakeholders in the municipality into one core group who could immediately respond and settle incidents and prevent it from escalating into large-scale atrocities.
“We need to work as one,” he added. With everybody expressing the desire to attain peace in the locality, the JTF Kalilintad was created at the 37IB headquarters in the town.
Kapina, in his message, said the formation of the task force signals the start of a collective effort of all stakeholders in addressing security-related concerns in Palimbang. (PNA)