ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Joint Task Force Zamboanga (JTFZ) has placed 12 barangays under tight watch to prevent the possible entry of lawless elements, including Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits.
Col. John Antonio Divinagracia, JTFZ commander, did not name the 12 barangays except for the coastal village of Muti.
Divinagracia noted Wednesday that government forces managed to arrest several ASG members in focused military operations over the years.
Divinagracia said their intelligence personnel are coordinating with barangay officials to monitor individuals coming in and out of the different barangays here.
“My order to the line units is to visit the barangays and to monitor who are new in the area, where they came from, and who are their employers,” he said.
He also asked the barangay officials to strengthen their “territorial integrated defense to prevent these lawless elements from staying in their communities.”
Meanwhile, he said the barangay council of Muti has earlier passed a resolution declaring the ASG bandits as persona non grata in their village. (PNA)