KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – Troops under Joint Task Force “ZAMPELAN” together with Provincial police encountered the “lawless elements” at Sitio Kabatuyan, Brgy Panabutan, Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte on March 07, 2018.
The operating troops of 42ND Infantry Battalion led by 1LT JAYNON C BASOY (INF) PA and Provincial police led by PO2 Roel Reyes were conducting combat operation at the vicinity of the said area when they clashed with more or less ten (10) lawless group under @Jumilon Tukalan.
Earlier, on March 04, 2018, the same group abducted the alleged five (5) illegal loggers at Sitio Upper Lukungan, Brgy Panabutan, Sirawai. On this same day, some concerned civilians of Brgy Sipakit, Sirawai reported that they have seen the group together with the 5 abducted person at the Damp Site of Brgy Sipakit.
The said illegal loggers are all residents of Brgy San Vicente, Sirawai. They were identified as: Jomar Mantanga, 25 years old; Roger Jungan, 36 years old; Raymond Purisima, 14 years old; Jemar Maglangit, 26 years old; and Mario Rosales, 46 years old.
The firefight which lasted for about ten (10) minutes compelled the enemy to withdrew heading towards the northeast direction of Sirawai, ZDN.
After the firefight, the troops recovered one (1) killed enemy (still unidentified); one (1) M1 Garand rifle; one (1) calibre .45 pistol; one (1) M16 handguard; one (1) cellular phone, some pieces of empty shells and several personal belongings. There was no casualty on the government troops.
The 42IB under the stewardship of Lt Col Danilo G Ambe is continuously conducting combat operations together with the police counterparts in their area of responsibility to trackdown and eventually defeat some lawless groups that disturb the normal life of the affected civilian community.
Col Francisco Ariel A Felicidario III INF (GSC) PA, 102 Brigade Commander said, “Reports of the civilian populace were very vital in tracking down the enemy locations leading to the successful encounters of our units. The clashes of 42IB with another lawless elements known as “Sumiggal group” in another municipality of Kalawit in the previous months also indicate the active participation of the civilian communities in our efforts to attain peace in Zamboanga Peninsula”.
“Our soldiers stand ready to respond and address any attempt by the armed threat groups threatening the safety and well-being of the people”, said Maj Gen Roseller G Murillo AFP, 1st ID Commader as he lauded the operating troops for the successful encounter.
“Let us continue to actively support Law Enforcement Support Operations until the final defeat of the lawless groups in our area of responsibility”, he added.