Col. Ruperto Pabustan, chief of the Army’s 602nd Infantry Brigade said Task Force Kidapawan’s first mission is to secure all possible exit and entry points of the city.
“There will be no duplication of the functions of the task force and the Kidapawan City (police). Ours is to secure the city from any threat of terrorism, while the PNP is on law enforcement,” Pabustan said in a radio interview.
Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco assured residents the city will not become a “military garrison” once the task force becomes operational.
“The presence of the military in the city would deter any terror act. This is our primary aim. But we’ll make sure this city will not become a military garrison,” he said.
The creation of the task force came a week after bombs exploded in Tacurong City and Makilala, North Cotabato on October 10, and Cotabato City on October 11.
The blast wounded four in Tacurong. In Makilala, the town after Kidapawan City en route to Davao City, six persons were killed and 29 others were wounded in October 10 blast. No casualty was reported in the Cotabato City blast.
“We don’t want a repeat of such incident here in our city, that’s why we’re laying down the necessary security plan,” the mayor said.
Gantuangco, chair of the City Peace and Order Council, presided over Mondays’ meeting which was also attended by Pabustan, city police chief Insp. Leo Ajero, Vice-Mayor Luis Malaluan, chair of the Sangguniang Panglungsod, and other sectors.