Military's engineering battalions arrive in Basilan
Isabela City, Basilan (10 September) -- The two engineering battalions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines arrived Saturday (Sept 08) at Lamitan City, Basilan to implement the development program, which aims to rebuild and rehabilitate the infrastructure on the island province.
Vice-Governor Al Rasheed M Sakkalahul welcomed the arrival of the 3rd Naval Construction Battalion and the 355th Engineering Battalion of the Philippine Air Force with warm heart, expressing his strong support to this military endeavor.
"Let these engineering battalions help (bring) development in Basilan," Hon. Sakkalahul appealed.
National Defense Secretary Gilberto C Teodoro Jr said that the deployment of engineering troops is the military's contribution in realizing the humanitarian offensive operations as directed by the Commander-in-Chief herself, Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Sec. Teodoro stressed that military's peace and order efforts in Basilan can be complemented with joint rehabilitation activities with the Department of Public Works and Highways.
"The combat engineers will help and assist the DPWH in the construction of circumferential road and water supply systems in Basilan," the defense chief said in a press statement.
Moreover, he said: "We will also be laying the ground for the economic development of the provinces of Basilan and Sulu. This way, we will be able to improve and uplift the lives of our brothers in these conflict-affected communities."
However, Sec. Teodoro clarified that the Abu Sayaff Group and all other lawless elements will still be relentlessly pursued, assuring the safety of the innocent civilians. (4CRG/PIA-BASULTA) [top]