Security forces have created a new task force to synchronize police and military operations in Zamboanga City and Basilan.

Joint Task Force Zamboanga-Basilan, also known as JTF Zambas, was activated Monday in Isabela City.

The task force, headed by Dir. Felicisimo Khu of the PNP, will address various threats, especially kidnapping incidents, Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said.

“One of the things that made this is the series of kidnappings na most often sa Zamboanga (kinukuha ang victims then) dadalhin sa Basilan,” Cabangbang told reporters by phone.

Khu, head of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, also currently leads the police-military Joint Task Force Kutawato that covers North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Cotabato City, and neighboring Maguindanao.

Brigadier Gen. Gerardo Layug, deputy commander of the AFP Wesmincom, will serve as Khu’s deputy in JTF Zambas. (John Roson)

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