A M67 90mm anti-tank recoilless rifle was found by Joint Task Force (JTF) – Sulu units at Bud Daho, Brgy. Lumping Pigih Daho, Talipao, Sulu, days after an armed confrontation with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
“The weapon was found on the 14th of July, near where the scout rangers engaged the group earlier this month. Synergy among our Joint Intelligence Task Group, 1101st Infantry Brigade, and the residents of Brgy Lumping Pigi Daho is what made it possible,” said JTF – Sulu and 11th Infantry Division Commander MGen William N. Gonzales.
On July 9, 2021, army rangers killed a bandit and overran a terrorist hideaway in Bud Daho, the same municipality. The local chief executives were so anxious, according to 1101st Infantry Brigade Commander BGen Antonio I Bautista Jr, that they cooperated with the 41st Infantry Battalion about an unverified tip.
“May mga residente kasi na nakakitang may dala-dalang ‘bazooka’ yung grupo doon bago ang encounter. Malaki ang kutob ng mga residente na hindi nila iyon nabitbit noong nagkaputukan na. Kaya naman para wala na silang babalikan doon sa lugar, hinanap talaga namin,” remarked BGen Bautista.
When empty, this ‘bazooka,’ which proved out to be a 90mm anti-tank recoilless rifle, weighs around 17 kg and more than 21 kg when filled with ammunition.
The anti-tank weapon’s deadly capacity spurred the intelligence community to join efforts for a multi-domain intelligence-driven hunt, according to Ltc Eduardo P. Castillo of the 11th Military Intelligence Battalion in an interview. He claims that the weapon, which takes three crew members to operate, could be launched in quick succession to ensure the target’s annihilation up to a distance of around two kilometers.
“Sa lakas ng weapon na ito, comparable ang magiging damage niya sa isang improvised na explosive device. Nagkataon lang na walang ma-source na ammunition itong ASG dahil sa hindi nila magawa yung kanilang income generating schemes para bumili at mag-transport.” he added.
According to reports, a number of people of Brgy. Lumping Pigih Daho offered to assist military troops in scanning the region, making the process less like looking for a needle in a haystack.
“The proactive participation of the people of Talipao led by their local chiefs is truly remarkable. This just goes to show that mutual trust and friendship is what will bring terrorism to its end,” said MGen Gonzales.
In April of last year, a 90mm anti-tank recoilless rifle was discovered after a confrontation in Patikul, Sulu, between the terror organization and army special forces.