The Need to Relocate the Task Force Talakudong (Tacurong City)

The Need to Relocate the Task Force Talakudong (Tacurong City)

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The Task Force Talakudong is currently located at the former “resort” area where a swimming pool is located within the Magsaysay Park facing the Alunan highway which poses a danger for the city. Military outposts are among the primary targets of unfriendly elements that would like to sow destruction as part of their operation. In this regard, the location of the military outpost definitely poses a danger to the whole city even if only a couple of guided missiles are directed to it, especially, because the City Hall is just a few meters from it.

 

In the past, the former Philippine Constabulary (PC) had a headquarters in Isulan until the said AFP branch was converted into the Philippine National Police (PNP). The location was strategic, considering that it was located in the middle of the “danger zone” that today, still  include Esperanza, Bagumbayan, Tacurong, President Quirino, Lambayong and Tantangan. Esperanza and Bagumbayan are at the foot of Mt. Daguma; Lambayong and President Quirino are adjacent to Ligwasan Marsh; and Tantangan is located at the foothills near Columbio. On the other hand, Tacurong being at the center of all these, still serve as the evacuation center.

 

Another important reason why the Task Force Talakudong should be located is the need for a much bigger area that could accommodate an expanded contingent and additional equipment which is very necessary. The current location is obviously inadequate for such scheme. My suggestion is its relocation outside the heavily populated downtown area where the City Hall is also located, and not outside the city periphery or at the very least in a boundary area with another town where the AFP deems appropriate. It should be noted that both the Ligwasan Marsh and the Daguma mountain ranges though charted, are not completely protected from unfriendly elements. They have been known as lairs of rebels and bandits, if I have to be frank about it. Though the once considered as “rebels” , except the NPA, are now in good terms with the Duterte government, the rest are  viewed as bandits and terrorists. And, their infiltration of the friendly groups is very possible.

 

The unrest today is obviously political, not religious, as the latter is just being used by the ambitious groups for their selfish motives. There is a peaceful co-existence among Christians and Muslims in the area, and that cannot be doubted. Again, the problem could arise if the so-called infiltration which is a terroristic strategy would be employed. There is much to be learned from the Marawi tragedy in this regard. It is high time that the Armed Forces of the Philippines should give the issue on the Task Force Talakudong a serious attention. The current seemingly “peaceful” situation in southern Mindanao should not be taken for granted.

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Ang Masisipag na Biyahera ng mga Gulay at ang Matiyagang Arkabalista ng Tacurong na si Melvin Duque

Ang Masisipag na Biyahera ng mga Gulay

At ang Matiyagang Arkabalista ng Tacurong na si Melvin Duque

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Sa isang bahagi ng kalye na papasok sa Apilado subdivision ng Tacurong city, natagpuan ko ang isang maliit na bagsakan ng mga gulay mula sa Takub na bahagi na ng South Cotabato, isang bulubunduking barangay. Ang ibang biyahera ay mula sa Kulaman, Tantangan, Buluan, at President Quirino. Napansin ko rin sa bahaging yon ang isang taong may nakakuwentas na ID ng city government, at napag-alaman kong arkabalista pala…si Melvin Duque.

 

Maagap sa pagbigay ng tiket si Melvin pagkatapos niyang bilangin ang mga nakasakong gulay ng mga biyaherang lahat ay kilala na niya. May kasama pang ngiti kung siya ay magbigay ng tiket kaya kahit kararating lang ng mga binibigyan niya ay wala silang reklamo. Maaga pa lang ay nakaabang na si Melvin at kahit tirik na ang araw ay matiyaga pa rin siyang nag-aabang ng mga darating. Dahil walang sombrero, ang pananggalang niya sa init ng araw ay ang kanyang sweat shirt. Hindi siya umaalis sa kanyang “teritoryo” hangga’t may dumarating pang mga biyahera.

 

Maliit lang ang kinikita ng mga biyahera ayon sa isang nakausap ko. Ang ilan sa kanila ay mismong mga nagtanim ng kanilang paninda. Ang iba naman ay namamakyaw ng mga gulay mula sa mga magsasakang ayaw bumaba sa mga palengke upang magbenta. Karamihan din sa kanila ay mga babae dahil ang mga asawa daw nila ay naiiwan upang magtrabaho sa bukid.

 

Si Melvin at ang mga biyahera ay mga nakalimutan nating mga haligi ng ating ekonomiya….mga bayani. Kung walang mga biyaherang nagtitiyagang maghakot ng mga gulay sa pamilihan kahit kaunti lang ang kikitain, wala tayong mabibiling natitingi o retailed sa mga palengke. At, kung walang matiyagang arkabalista tulad ni Melvin, walang malilikon na direktang buwis ang lokal na pamahalaan upang maipatupad nito ang mga programa at may maipangsahod sa mga empleyado at opisyal ng bayan. Karapat-dapat sila sa ating paghanga at paggalang, na ang tiyaga at kasipagan ay dapat tularan.