KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – One alleged member of a Private Armed Group (PAG) died and six others were apprehended in a clash with the government forces in Sitio Sibuan, Purok 3, Barangay Tubod, Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur 10:25.P.M. Sunday May 12, 2019.
Troops of Army’s 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division deployed for election duties figured in an encounter with unidentified armed elements wearing wig onboard at least three motor cycles and one owner type vehicle.
“Prior to encounter, our troops were conducting mobile patrol when this armed group fired upon them. Our troops resorted to fire back and an encounter ensued which resulted to the killing of one of their members and apprehension of six other individuals,” said Lt Col Marlowe Patria, commanding officer of 53rd Infantry (MATAPAT) Battalion which has operational jurisdiction over Lakewood municipality.
Recovered at the scene of encounter were one (1) caliber .45 pistol with two (2) magazines loaded with ammunitions, three (3) magazines of M16 rifle with ammunitions. Six 6) individuals were apprehended and two (2) motorcycles, one (1) tricycle and one (1) owner type vehicle were confiscated by the PNP SOCO who responded immediately in the area.
Brigadier General Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., commander of 102nd Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over Zamboanga del Sur said, “Your Army together with the PNP and in support of the COMELEC, will do our best so that the voters could peacefully and freely exercise their constitutional rights to choose their leaders through National and Local elections.”
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) Commander, commended the efforts of the troops for neutralizing the armed elements.
“The armed encounter and apprehension of these PAG members are the result of our relentless campaign to ensure free and secured National and Local Elections 2019 in Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces.,” BGen Ancan added.
The PNP Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) immediately proceeded to the area for the recovery of the cadaver and the conduct of investigation.
The apprehended personalities together with the recovered items were turned-over to Lakewood Municipal Police Station (MPS) for proper disposition and filing of appropriate charges.