Military encounters ASG bandits in Sulu


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Operating troops of the 100th Infantry Battalion of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu encountered undetermined number of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in the vicinity of Barangay Tumatangis in Indanan, Sulu, at around 11:10 in the morning of May 15, 2022.

In a statement, Maj. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio, Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu and 11th Infantry “Alakdan” Division, said “Based on a report submitted by Col. Giovanni Franza, Commander of the 1102nd Infantry Brigade, operating troops of the 100th Infantry Battalion received an information of ASG bandits presence near the community. While on their way to the area, they encountered an undetermined number of ASG bandits under ASG leader Radullan Sahiron. Firefight lasted for about 30 minutes, and thereafter, the enemy withdrew towards north.”

Maj. Gen. Patrimonio further narrated that the encounter resulted to wounding of three (3) soldiers, while undetermined on the ASG bandits.

“Of the 3 wounded-in-action soldiers, one (1) has been evacuated to Camp Navarro in Zamboanga City while the two (2) are in Camp Bautista Station Hospital. They are all in stable condition,” Maj. Gen. Patrimonio added.

Col. Franza said that they immediately deployed additional forces to block possible escape routes of the ASG bandits.

“We deployed additional forces to pursue the fleeing ASG bandits. We alerted all nearest military and police patrol bases to conduct blocking and checkpoints,” Col. Franza said.

Col. Franza added, “while scouring the encounter site, the troops recovered the following items: one (1) sack of rice; four (4) litrs gallon of water; kitchen utensils, and personal belongings.”

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Patrimonio commended the troops for their gallantry and sacrifices in tracking down the ASG bandits. He also thanked the support of the community, and attributed the encounter to the communities’ ardent desire for peace.

“I commend the courage and sacrifices of our soldiers on our efforts to neutralize the ASG bandits who continue to sow terror in a peaceful communities of Indanan, Sulu. The tipping-off of the ASG bandits’ presence by the community of Barangay Tumatangis, which led us to encounter these bandits, demonstrates their support to our peace and security campaign. I urged you to continue our efforts to neutralize the remaining ASG terrorists and deny them to execute their hostile plans.”

“To the ASG bandits, we will be relentless to hunt you down. We have the support of the community and we will not cease until we bring lasting peace and sustainable development in Sulu. I therefore appeal for you to peacefully lay down your arms, go back to the folds of the law, start anew, and avail of the government’s reintegration program,” Maj. Gen. Patrimonio concluded. — PA


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