Kidapawan to relaunch task group to make city ‘hardened target’

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 10 Aug) – To make the city a “hardened target” for criminals and other lawless elements, the local government is set to relaunch its Task Group Kidapawan (TG Kidapawan), a composite group whose primary duty is to deter terror attack in the city.

The Army’s 39th Infantry Battalion is the lead operating unit of the task group. Also included are elements of the 72nd Infantry Battalion of the 1002nd Infantry Brigade and operatives of the Cotabato Public Safety Company of the Cotabato Provincial Police Office.

Mayor Joseph Evangelista has appointed Lt. Col. Noel Loaoang of the 39IB to head TG Kidapawan.

Evangelista, in an interview over Catholic-run DXND, said members of the task group would be formally introduced to the public in simple rites on August 14. After which they would be sent to the city’s outskirts to conduct checkpoints and other security measures that would make committing a crime in Kidapawan more difficult, thus reducing the opportunities for criminals to achieve their goals, the mayor added.

He explained that target hardening includes measures against forced entry of any terror group, destruction, bombing incidents, and all forms of violence.

The task group, he said, would serve as a quick response team.

The relaunch of TG Kidapawan was timed for the city’s upcoming weeklong 70th foundation anniversary, which falls on August 18.

The task group was first organized in 2014 as part of the city’s public safety but was disbanded two years later.

The City Advisory Council of the Kidapawan City PNP, in a meeting late July this year, strongly recommended to the mayor the reorganization of the task group after a series of shooting incidents and other criminal activities in the city.

There have been at least 25 shooting incidents that happened in the city since the start of the year. The latest took place only last Wednesday wherein gunmen riding in a motorcycle shot dead a 24-year-old employee of a mobile phone store near a Catholic church here. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)