The MBLT-1 will pull out of the city upon orders from their superiors. Initial reports said, they will be transferred to the Island Province of Basilan, a component of the ARMM.
Local officials were initially apprehensive about the pull-out of the Marines as they have been a vital force in the eradication of kidnapping activities and the neutralization of criminal characters in Cotabato City.
Mayor Guiani said, the City owes the Marines for their presence as they have greatly helped in improving the city's business climate.
"Nalulungkot kami sa pag-alis niyo.Cotabato City will not be what it is today if not for the help of the Marines. From being a 3rd class city, we are now a 1st class city dahil sa tulungan ng mamamayan at ng local authorities" Mayor Guiani said.
"Ang ating Special Forces ay mas mabilis na gumalaw kaya we don't have to worry dahil mas magaling po sila kaysa sa amin. Lahat ng detachment na maiiwan ng Marines, the SF will cover" Salamat said.
SF Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Noli Mapili also guaranteed the people of Cotabato City that they will closely coordinate with the other local authorities like the City PNP when it comes to patrolling different areas in the city. He said the SF is only a component of a much larger Joint Task Force Kampilan who will also be assisting the City when it comes to its security needs.
Meanwhile, Barangay Officials also pledged their support to the Special Forces like how they have cooperated with the Philippine Marines.
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