KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – Troops under 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division encountered members of the Abu Sayaff Group in Brgy Taung, Patikul, Sulu, 7:15am, March 31, 2018.
The operating troops of 32nd Infantry Battalion led by 1LT PRIMO A PASSION (OS) PA were conducting clearing operation at the vicinity of the said area when they clashed with the five (5) ASG under Walton Juljirin.
LTC RONALDO C MATEO INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer of the 32IB said that the enemy were reportedly at the house of the sick/wounded ASG Walton when the troops encountered the enemy. The firefight lasted for five (5) minutes.
Four (4) ASG were able to escape from the said firefight while Walton was left behind due to his ill health condition brought about by infected wound incurred during the previous encounter with the government forces which he participated. Said ASG attempted to escape but the troops immediately ran after him.
After the firefight, the troops recovered from the house of ASG member Walton one (1) cal 7.62 FN-G1 rifle, one (1) magazine with ammunitions, a suspected IED and two (2) hand grenades. No casualties from the government side.
“The cooperation of the civilians who reported the armed group’s presence in their area is a strong manifestation that civilians have long been tired of these ASG’s terroristc activities and now actively helping the military locate them to contribute for the total elimination of all terrorists in the Province of Sulu.” LTC MATEO added.