The Army pulled out the 27th Infantry Battalion from the area of armed tribal group leader Daguil Capion after its troops were involved in an incident that killed his wife and two sons.

Maj. Gen. Ariel Bernardo, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said he ordered the pullout after meeting with tribal leaders on Oct. 31.

“Napag-usapan is gusto nila (tribal leaders) to give justice [to the victims], kung puwedeng ‘yung 27th IB ay maalis dun, palitan ng ibang army, so 39th IB will be taking over,” Bernardo said.

The pullout, which took place on Nov. 1, saw the 27th IB withdraw from the entire town of Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, as well as adjacent barangays in Tampakan, South Cotabato, and Columbio, Sultan Kudarat, 10th ID spokesman Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza said.

The tri-boundary – called Kitaco for short – is known to be the area where B’laan tribesman Daguil Capion’s armed group operates.

It also hosts the “exploration site” of foreign-backed Sagittarius Mines Inc., which plans to dig a gold and copper mine.

The area will now be secured by the 39th Infantry Battalion, which is headed by Lt. Col. Norman Zuniega and based in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, Paniza said.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Shalimar Imperial took over as commander of the 27th IB on Monday, following the resignation of Lt. Col. Noel Alexis Bravo.

Bernardo led the turnover ceremony at the 27th IB headquarters in Tupi, South Cotabato, around 9 a.m., Paniza said.

Bravo resigned as commander of the 27th IB to give way to an investigation on the Oct. 18 incident that killed Capion’s wife Juvy, 31, and their sons Pop, 13, and John, 8, in Brgy. Kimlawis, Kiblawan.

“He (Bravo) resigned out of ‘delicadeza’ and to give way to the ongoing investigation on the incident. Tinanggap naman ng higher headquarters ‘yung decision niya,” Capt. William Alfred Rodriguez, spokesman of the Army’s 1002nd Brigade, said. (John Roson)

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