5th Special Forces Battalion honored for dismantling terrorist group in South Cotabato

On Monday, January 29, 2024 during the Monday Convocation Program at the South Cotabato Provincial Capitol in Koronadal City, the 5th Special Forces Battalion, operating under the 1st Mechanized Infantry Brigade, received recognition from the Province of South Cotabato for its exceptional initiatives, endeavors, and accomplishments in promoting peace, security, and community development. The unit's relentless efforts played a pivotal role in dismantling the notorious Daulah Islamiyah Maguid Group (DI-MAGUID), which had been a source of terror in South Cotabato and adjacent provinces.

Colonel Carlyleo P Nagac INF (GSC) PA, the Commanding Officer of the 5th Special Forces Battalion, received the award for the unit's exemplary role as the main force in confronting local terrorist groups operating in South Cotabato. The recognition acknowledges the significant impact of the battalion's strategic operations and unwavering dedication in neutralizing the DI-MAGUID threat.

On January 16, 2024, the 5th Special Forces Battalion received the prestigious Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Streamer for the same accomplishment. The award ceremony, presided over by AFP Commander-in-Chief President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., included the participation of Hon. Gilbert Eduardo Teodoro Jr., Secretary of the Department of National Defense, and General Romeo S Brawner Jr., AFP Chief of Staff.

The DI-MAGUID, formerly known as Ansar Khalifa Philippines and referred to as Ansar al-Khilafah in the Philippines, had posed a significant threat to the peace and security of the region, particularly in the Municipality of Polomolok and MAKIMA area in Sarangani Province since 2014. The group's historical violence had hindered government services, instilling fear among the populace and service providers.

The success in dismantling the terrorist group was achieved through a true "Whole-of-Nation" approach. The 5th Special Forces Battalion, under the operational control of the 1st Mechanized Brigade, collaborated with intelligence and Civil-Military Operations (CMO) units, local government units (LGUs), line agencies, and other stakeholders. This collective effort, supported by the Province of South Cotabato, played a crucial role in neutralizing the grave security threat and contributing to the overall stability of the province.

In his acceptance address, COL Nagac emphasized the collaborative nature of the achievement, stating, "Beyond the whole-of-government, this is a true whole-of-nation success story where the government, including the military, non-government and private entities, and the community has worked together towards the achievement of peace."

The Colonel praised the unwavering support of the Province, led by Hon. Reynaldo S. Tamayo Jr., and highlighted the sincere implementation of the Province's program for those seeking to return to the folds of the law and mainstream society. He emphasized that this accomplishment is a result of collective efforts by those who worked tirelessly, both in the frontlines and shadows, to ensure the safety and prosperity of South Cotabato.

This significant stride marks a step closer to eradicating threats to internal security and ensuring the long-term stability of the province. The commitment of the 5th Special Forces Battalion extends beyond this recent triumph, with a steadfast dedication to creating an environment where residents of South Cotabato can thrive without the looming threat of insurgency. The unit remains resolute in its mission to neutralize any remaining threats and actively engage in initiatives promoting sustainable peace, prosperity, and inclusive growth and development.

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