Author: AC of S for CMO OG7

KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – The conduct of 2019 midterm national and local elections in the provinces of Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur were generally peaceful as the polling precincts closed Monday evening.

Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division and Joint Task Force ZamPeLan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) congratulated the people in the provinces of Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao for their participation and cooperation during the conduct of elections.

Ancan also lauded the efforts of the troops under JTF ZamPeLan, counterparts from the PNP, the COMELEC and all concerned stakeholders involved in ensuring the successful conduct of elections with zero failure of elections recorded.

Despite some election related incidents monitored and reported, all were isolated and were immediately acted upon by the government security forces and are now under investigation of the PNP.

About an hour before the polling precincts close, an explosion occurred inside a Hi-ace van with plate nr A3L056 near Bacong Elementary School in Brgy Bacong, Marantao, Lanao del Sur.

Investigation disclosed that the suspect, a certain Bin Anshary Moh Noort Mala was about to throw an improvised explosive device outside the said vehicle when it exploded inside which resulted to the wounding of the suspect. Accordingly, the target of the suspect was the parked military vehicle utilized by the troops of 82nd Infantry Battalion securing the said polling center.

The troops quickly responded and were able to apprehend the suspect together with the driver of the vehicle a certain Salahudin Bin Hamza.

Recovered inside the van were 4 IEDs, 4 blasting caps, 4 digital watches, 2 cellphones, 1 commercial radio and detonation cord.

The apprehended personalities and recovered items were turned over to Marantao Municipal Police Station for proper disposition and filing of appropriate charges.

Meanwhile, incidents of malfunctioned VRVMs were reported in some areas but were well acted upon by the COMELEC and all election paraphernalia were transferred safely in the canvassing centers.

Ancan also stressed that the security efforts will be sustained until the canvassing is done and the winners of this electoral process are proclaimed.

“I urge everyone to cooperate and be more vigilant especially in protecting our votes and in reporting groups or individuals that would intend to disrupt the ongoing canvassing,” Ancan added.

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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.

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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – Government troops of the 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division recovered a paper bag containing money amounting to P1,056,700.00 in cash in Brgy Dapiwak, Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur allegedly to be used fo vote buying on Saturday May 11, 2019.

Troops of 97th Infantry (KALASAG-LAHI) Battalion, 1ID while conducting security patrol, received information from concerned citizens regarding the presence of goons conducting vote buying and harassing the populace in the area.

“Our troops found the money believed to be left by the goons of unidentified politician at the back of an abandoned house in the said barangay,” said Lt Col Rufino de Leon, commanding officer of 97IB.

Meanwhile, early morning of Sunday, May 12, 2019, combined elements of 5th Infantry Battalion, 1ID and Tubod Municipal Police Station (MPS) in coordination with the Election Officer of Tubod, Lanao del Norte, apprehended five (5) personalities suspected of engaging in vote buying in Purok 7, Brgy Bualan, Tubod, Lanao del Norte.

Recovered from their possession were cash amounting to P123, 868.00, sample ballots, and other campaign paraphernalia.

Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, commander of the military forces in Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces said, “We in the AFP together with the PNP are in full support of the COMELEC to have a secure and fair elections. We will not allow anybody, regardless of what political party they belong, to threaten or intimidate our people in this electoral process.”

Ancan further said, “We challenge all the candidates, civil society organizations, religious groups and the citizenry to be more vigilant in preventing violence and not be swayed by the use of guns, goons and gold.”

“To the electorate, go out and vote. Feel safe, secured and participate in this momentous event of our democratic way of life,” added Ancan.

The recovered money of 97IB and 5IB were turned over to the COMELEC of Zamboanga del Sur and Lanao del Norte, respectively, while the apprehended personalities were turned over to Tubod, MPS for proper disposition.

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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.

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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur –The 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army spearheaded the Closing Ceremony of Candidate Soldier Course (CSC) Classes 567 & 568 – 2018 cross-trained with Jungle Warfare Mountain Operation Course (JWMOC) held at 1ID Grandstand on 10 May 2019 with BGen Roberto T Ancan AFP, Commander, 1ID as keynote speaker.

The CSC 567 & 568 composed of 24 females and 259 males have successfully completed the 10 months rigid training conducted at the 1st Division Training School (1DTS) in Upper Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

The said training provided the candidate soldiers with the basic knowledge and skills of soldiery, and developed their character that made them into strong and lethal warrior members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

BGen Ancan AFP, Commander of 1ID, in his speech, challenged the new soldiers to walk according to the living ideals of soldiery. “Your journey has just begun, always uphold the virtues of the AFP and serve with Pride and Honor and do not forget to seek help and guidance from our God Almighty. “

BGen Ancan also expressed an accolade of thanks to the family, especially the parents of the graduates who entrusted their sons and daughters to be part of the noble profession of arms, reminding them also that military life is a life of service and danger, but nonetheless a patriotic life that one could be proud of.

The new graduates will be deployed to the different field units under the administrative control of the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, and will serve to further strengthen the forces of the division in fighting violence and terrorism and in sustaining the peace and development in Western Mindanao.

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CAMP SANG-AN, Pulacan, Labangan, Zambonga del Sur – Nineteen (19) armed elements were apprehended in the joint law enforcement operations of the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion, 1st Infantry Division and Pagadian City Police Office with the supervision of Zamboanga del Sur and Pagadian City COMELEC in Brgy Danlugan, Pagadian City at 2:10 pm Monday May 6, 2019.

Prior to apprehension, the government troops received reports from the residents of said barangay about the presence of armed elements riding in two pick-up vehicles.

The government troops immediately responded in the area and were able to flag down the 2 vehicles and immediately apprehended the personalities on board possessing firearms in plain view.

Recovered from the scene were 5 M16 rifles, 7 Cal .45 pistol, 2 Cal .357 revolver, 1 9mm pistol, 1 Cal .38 revolver, 1 Cal .22 revolver, several assorted ammunitions and 17 bonnets.

“Our joint law enforcement operations together with the PNP will be relentless as the conduct of 2019 Midterm elections is fast approaching. With the continued cooperation of our people in reporting the presence of armed elements and threat groups in their communities, we can respond at once and prevent these lawless armed elements from disrupting the peaceful and orderly conduct of our elections”, said Brigadier General Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., commander of 102nd Infantry Brigade which has operational jurisdiction over Pagadian City.

The arrest came few hours after the Joint Task Force ZAMPELAN (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) conducted a send-off ceremony to its troops for election duties.

For his part, Atty Jossil Macute, the Provincial Election Supervisor of Zamboanga del Sur said, “This apprehension of armed elements should serve as a warning that the AFP in cooperation with the PNP, is serious in ensuring the safety of our electorates in the upcoming elections.”

Meanwhile, Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division and the JTF ZAMPELAN lauded the efforts of the 53IB and Pagadian City PNP for the quick response which led to the successful conduct of joint law enforcement operations.

“The apprehension of these armed elements will certainly help improve the security situation in our area of responsibility and for our people to be more safe and secure especially in the upcoming Midterm National and Local Elections 2019,” said Ancan.

“Rest assured that we will remain vigilant and steadfast in our mandate to ensure free, orderly, honest, peaceful and credible conduct of elections,” Ancan added.

The apprehended personalities and recovered firearms were brought to Pagadian City Police Station for proper disposition and filing of appropriate charges.

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CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – The Joint Task Force ZAMPELAN (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) is all set for the upcoming Midterm National and Local Elections 2019 in its area of responsibility.

A send-off ceremony to its troops composed of one (1) Provisional Battalion was conducted on Monday, May 6, 2019 led by the JTF ZAMPELAN commander, Brigadier General Roberto Ancan.

In his message, BGen Ancan emphasized that the JTF ZAMPELAN is committed in its mandate to support the police and the COMELEC in the implementation of election laws. He further reiterated his instructions to the troops to remain apolitical and non-partisan at all times.

A week ago, BGen Ancan has been visiting the line units under the JTF ZAMPELAN to ensure that the security preparations for the National and Local Elections 2019 are emplaced, and to make ready all available military assets to include the personnel for deployment during elections.

Ancan stressed that despite the deployment of troops for election duties, the operations against communist terrorist group and other threat groups in the JTF ZAMPELAN area of responsibility will continue. “We will not put our guards down, yet, we will intensify our efforts to prevent armed threats and lawless elements from conducting atrocities in order to ensure the safety and security of the voters and for them to freely exercise their right to suffrage and to protect the sanctity of their votes and the integrity of the elections,” added Ancan.

Among the attendees of the ceremony were Atty. Geraldine Samsom, Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Assistant Regional Director of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), Atty. Jossi Macute, the Provincial Election Officer of Zamboanga del Sur, personnel from the PNP, the media and officers, enlisted personnel and civilian employees of the JTF ZAMPELAN.

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CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – The 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, Philippine Army started its major activities in line with the celebration of its 83rd founding anniversary here Sunday May 5, 2019 with the enduring theme of “Serving the people. Securing the land.”

An interfaith service was conducted early in the morning at the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine inside Camp Sang-an was attended by all the Tabak troopers coming from the different religious groups led by the commander, 1ID, Brigadier General Roberto T Ancan.

The activity was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony held at the Heroes Memorial in order to pay homage to the fallen Tabak heroes, commemorate their sacrifices and rekindle their heroic exploits in preserving the peace and security in the division’s area of responsibility.

Ancan also urged the living soldiers of the Army’s premier infantry division, to live up to the ideals of those who have gone ahead, and keep up the standard of the true Tabak warriors and the finest tradition of Filipino soldiery.

The 1ID will conduct series of activities in line with its 83rd founding anniversary in the month of June in order to focus in the upcoming midterm National and Local Elections on May 13, 2019.

The anniversary activities include the following: Division-wide Infantry Rifle and Disaster Response Operations Challenge on June 3 to 7; 1ID Commander’s Cup on June 13 to 16; a weeklong Market Fare to start on June 17 with 1ID stakeholders and 1ID units as merchandisers of the mini bazaar; Tabak Sports Fest and many others. The highlight of the 1ID’s 83rd founding anniversary will be the Anniversary Parade and Review on June 19 to showcase the Tabak troopers and capabilities and awarding ceremony for 1ID awardees.

The 1st Infantry Division was established as the 1st Regular Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army also known as Tabak Division on May 5, 1936 at Camp Murphy (now Camp Aguinaldo) in Quezon City, Rizal (now Metro Manila). After it was deployed in various areas of the country, the Tabak Division opened its present headquarters on December 4, 1989 stationed at Camp Major Cesar L. Sang-an in Brgy. Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

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CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – The 1st Infantry Division inducted the newly elected Tabak Defense Press Corps (TDPC) officers held here Sunday, 7:00 p.m.

Ten TDPC officers, during their oath, vowed to abide by the guidelines governing the TDPC and such issuances by the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division, Philippine Army and the Code of Ethics of the Philippine Journalism.

Ms. Ellen Ajijul, the TDPC President, acknowledged the importance of military and media partnership in promoting peace and development and hoped for the continued sharing of common desire in disseminating the programs of the government. 

“Being members of the 4th state, we will speak for truth and maintain the essence of professionalism in our journalistic practice,” said Ajijul.

“Rest assured that all media pledging membership with TDPC would keep on supporting the military and the government’s peace advocacies,” Ajijul added.

Earlier, fun shoot and rappelling were conducted at the Tabak Integrated firing Range and Division Training school, respectively as part of the fellowship activity.

Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, was delighted with the deepened and strengthened relationship between the media and the command.

“This is a significant milestone in our ongoing collaboration with the TDPC as entity and partner of the 1st Infantry Division in information dissemination,” said Ancan.

“I encourage everyone to live with your professional code of ethics and continue exercising responsible journalism by delivering right and factual information to the public and avoid misleading and incredible news,” Ancan added.

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