CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur –Joint law enforcement operation between Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion and Police Mobile Force Company (PMFC) Zamboanga Sibugay, clashed with communist NPA terrorists (CNTs) in remote area of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay at 3:45 p.m. Saturday May 11, 2019.
“Our troops responded to the report of concerned residents in the area about the presence of this armed group that are threatening and harassing the populace. When our troops are approaching the barangay, we were fired upon by more or less thirty (30) armed CNTs at Sitio Km 16, Brgy New Tampilisan, Kabasalan, ZSP,” said Lt Col Don Templonuevo, commanding officer of 44IB.
This led to a 2-hour firefight that saw NPA members escaping to different directions leaving behind high-powered firearms including 3-AK rifle, 1-Carbine, 8-magazines loaded with ammunitions, personal belongings and subversive documents with high intelligence value. It has also resulted to the wounding of one Army personnel.
Brigadier General Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., commander of the 102nd brigade which has operational jurisdiction over Zamboanga Sibugay, warned the CNTs that the government security forces will continue to run after them despite the conduct of elections.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) Commander, commended the efforts of the troops for the successful operation that led to the recovery of firearms and prevention of CNT hostile plans.
“The Tabak Troopers in collaboration with the PNP will intensify development support and security operations to ensure the peaceful and orderly conduct of elections and to sustain the government’s peace and development efforts in the whole Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces (ZAMPELAN) area,” Ancan added.
Additional troops from 44IB are now conducting pursuit operations to run after the fleeing NPA terrorists, also in close communication with the barangay officials to ensure the safety and security of the residents in the area. Wounded personnel was immediately evacuated and brought to the nearest hospital for proper medical treatment.