Troops of the 97th Infantry Battalion (97IB) came into close contact with around 20 members of the communist terrorist group (CTG) in Purok 3, Brgy. Saad, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur on Wednesday afternoon, August 25, 2021.
One rucksack, communist NPA terrorist (CNT) journals, varied foodstuff, medical apparatus, medicine, one electric circuit tester, and the terrorists’ personal things were recovered during the operation.
According to 97IB Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Manaros Boransing, the same communist terrorist organization has been met in past combat missions.
“This is the fifth armed encounter that the 97IB had with the same terrorist group last July 4, July 30, August 10, and August 18, and even in previous military operations,” said Boransing.
The stated organization operates in the Zamboanga del Norte municipalities of Sergio Osmea and Katipunan, as well as Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur, where the majority of its members are from.
“We encourage the remaining CTG members to come down and surrender; we will guarantee their safety. The Army will not stop its combat operations against the terrorists,” he added.
The operating soldiers suffered no fatalities during the 15-minute confrontation with 97IB personnel, however the terrorist group suffered indeterminate casualties.
Hon. Jeffrey Señara, Barangay Captain of Saad, likewise condemned the NPA militants’ barbarism.
“We strongly condem the presence and atrocities of the NPA. We now utilize our Civilian Volunter Organization (CVO) and Barangay Defense System (BDS) to deter the NPA from commiting acts of terrorism and to protect our community,” said Señara.
Brig. Gen. Leonel M. Nicolas, commander of the 102nd Infantry Brigade, which has operational jurisdiction over the Zamboanga Peninsula, said the brigade will keep up the pressure on the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC) with the full cooperation of the local government and the people.
Meanwhile, the commander of the 1st Infantry Division, Maj. Gen. Gene M. Ponio, praised the 97IB for their outstanding performance during combat operations that resulted in a significant loss of enemy property.
“The Communist Terrorist Group in our area of responsibility is dwindling. Likewise, we will sustain our efforts to defeat them the soonest,” said Ponio.
“We understand that they are already tired and hungry; that is why we are offering them an alternative option, lay down your arms and return to the folds of the law,” he added.