The military stated on Saturday that an encampment of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was overrun by Army elite forces in the Sulu hinterlands, killing one member of the terror group.
The forces overran the encampment after a fight broke out about 12:20 PM, Friday, while checking on the alleged presence of ASG bandits in Bud Daho, Barangay Lumping Pigi Daho, Talipao, according to Maj. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of Joint Task Force (JTF)-Sulu.
“Immediately, troops of (the) 5th Scout Ranger Battalion who are operating nearby proceeded to the location. Then and there, they fought with more or less 20 Abu Sayyaf bandits under sub-leaders Mundi Sawadjaan and Ellam Nasirin,” he said.
Gonzales, who is also the commander of the 11th Infantry Division, stated the forces discovered the bones of a murdered ASG bandit while clearing the bandit’s encampment while the remainder of the ASG bandits scattered.
The 1101st Infantry Brigade commander, Brig. Gen. Antonio Bautista Jr., claimed the forces collected 14 hammocks, eight ponchos, three pairs of boots, and food supplies from the dead ASG encampment.
Bloodstains were discovered in their old camping site, indicating that some of the fleeing ASG bandits were injured during the 20-minute shootout, according to Bautista.
“Our combat trackers are doing their best to locate this group. Bloodstains were found at the encampment (of the bandits),” he said.
Meanwhile, Gonzales dedicated Friday’s achievement to the victims of the Patikul, Sulu, plane tragedy on July 4.
“I commend the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion for this extraordinary feat. Troops here in Sulu are still mourning the death of our comrades who died on the C-130 mishap, but we have no choice (but) to keep on with our mandate. They came here to join us in our campaign for peace in Sulu. We honor them by striving to achieve that mission,” Gonzales said.
The majority of the 96 passengers on board the ill-fated C-130 plane were Army fresh enlisted men dispatched to Sulu to hunt ASG terrorists.