Author: AC of S for CMO OG7

KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – Zamboanga del Sur Municipality surrenders 27 loose highpowered firearms and grenade to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police yesterday March 15, 2018.

The Municiplaity of Malangas headed by Hon Tata Bacqiual, Municipal Mayor, facilitated the surrender of  27 loose firearms and grenade to Col Francisco Ariel A Felicidario, Commander of the 102nd Infantry Brigade from the Joint Task Force ZAMPELAN, in a turn-over ceremony held at Municipal Police Station. The unregistered and illegal firearms and grenade were surrendered by the residents and local officials in different barangays of the Municipality.

The surrendered firearms include 18 shotguns, two (2) M1 Garand rifle, one (1) Caliber .22 pistol, five (5) Caliber. 45 pistols, one (1) homemade gun (sumpak), one (1) Rifle grenade and one (1) hand grenade.

Malangas Mayor, Hon. Tata Bacquial expressed his commitment and support to the security sector in the attainment of a lasting peace in his municipality. While Col Felicidario said in his remarks that security, while the mandate of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, is the concern of all citizens and members of the community. He added that this turnover of loose firearms is a step towards attaining sustainable development in our communites.

Major General Roseller G Murillo, the Commander of the Joint Task Force ZAMPELAN, lauded the efforts of 102nd Brigade in collaboration with the local government and the local police in the campaign against loose firearms. Major General Murillo declared that the military will remain the steadfast protector of the people and always a professional Armed Forces as it carries out its mandate in securing the Filipino.

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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – Residents of Piagapo, Lanao del Sur surrendered a total of 43 high and low powered loose firearms in a turnover ceremony held at Piagapo Town Hall yesterday, March 16, 2:30pm. Of the 43 units surrendered, 41 are high-powered while 2 are low-powered firearms. The surrendered units include Barrett Cal .50, BAR, RPG 7, M79, Minimi 5.56 (SAW), Ultimax 5.56mm SAW, M-16 rifles, M-14 rifles, M653 rifles, M4 rifle, Magpul rifle, M2 Carbine, Tompson 9mm, Uzi 9mm, cal .45 pistol and KJ 9mm.

This is the second batch of firearms surrendered by the civilian residents of Piagapo. The first batch, mostly short arms, happened last year October 17, 2017.

This endeavor was made possible through the continuous collaboration of the 51st Infantry Battalion and the local chief executives and brgy officials of Piagapo in the implementation of martial law and the campaign against loose firearms.

Piagapo Mayor Ali L Sumandar during the ceremony expressed his commitment and support to the security sector in the attainment of a lasting peace in his municipilty much known on rebellion and syndicates. In his speech, he underscores 3 words: Unity, Peace, and Progress.  “Peace is possible if there is unity, and development follows if there is peace.”

“I want this town a role model of peace in Lanao del Sur. I’m sure we can do this with the help of the people of Piagapo. I’m calling other government institutions and agencies to help us in this campaign for peace primarily by providing livelihood opportunities to my constituents”, Mayor Sumandar said.

It can be recalled that the Daesh-inspired group occupied Piagapo before the Marawi rebellion erupted.

On April 21, 2017, clashes between the military and the local terrorist Maute group transpired at Sitio Pagalungan, Brgy Gacap of Piagapo. The said encounter lasted for 3 days which resulted to the death of thirty six (36) members of the Maute group, seizure and occupation  of enemy’s main camp with fortified bunkers, fighting positions, and running trenches.  The government forces sustained 3 wounded in action (WIA) caused by shrapnel and bullet wound.

A month after, the Marawi rebellion started which resulted to thousands of casualties, displacements of civilians, and the total destruction of the City’s main business district area. The battle which lasted for five months also prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao for 60 days, and was later extended until the end of the year and the whole of 2018.

On Dec 2017, 3 civilian vendors from Misamis Oriental selling furniture were killed in Piagapo. Their dead body were found on Dec 6, 2017 at the border of Piagapo and Balindong towns of Lanao del Sur.

To help change the image of the town, the municipal peace and order council was convened and the different stakeholders involved agreed to end the bloody history of Piagapo and start building peace and development by bringing the government services closer to the people.

LTC GREMEL B BRUAL INF (GSC) PA, Commanding Officer of the 51st Infantry Battalion covering the town of Piagapo in his area of responsibility, also promised to do their share in attaining Mayor Sumandar’s vision to change the rebellious image of Piagapo as exemplified in the ceremony’s theme: “Surrendering Loose Firearms: A Key Step Towards Meaningful and Lasting Peace”.

The 1st ID Commander, Maj Gen Roseller G Murillo AFP, in his speech said: “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the people of Piagapo for their genuine gesture in giving up their firearms. This would be a continuous campaign and our soldiers will never stop convincing the civilians to surrender their loose firearms.”

“As we continue with our campaign in getting rid of the loose firearms, we are expecting several other armaments to be surrendered not only here in Piagapo but also in other towns of Lanao Provinces. Rest assured that the military will remain as the “steadfast protector” of the people.  Likewise, the AFP will remain professional as it carries out its mandate in the implementation of martial law”, Murillo added.

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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – Troops under Joint Task Force “ZAMPELAN” provided area security assistance to the personnel of the Law Enforcement Service of Land Transportation Office (LTO)-Central Office, who were able to confiscate Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) without franchise in a joint law enforcement operations conducted in Pagadian City, morning of March 10, 2018.

After a thorough coordination between the troops of 53rd Infantry Battalion led by 1LT MICHAEL B BUMIDANG (INF) PA and Land Transportation Office-Central Office for their vehicular inspection operation, thirty five (35) Vans and two (2) Multi-cabs without franchise were confiscated.  The said operation was conducted at vicinity of Integrated Bus Terminal (IBT), Brgy Bulatok, Pagadian City.

“This is a nationwide campaign of LTO and we started here in Pagadian City for the Mindanao area. The primary objective of this nationwide operation is road safety”, said Col Rolando V Abelardo, Deputy Director, Law Enforcement Service, LTO-Central Office based in Metro Manila.

Earlier, on March 04, 2018, troops of 42IB in a joint operation with the Provincial police of Zamboanga del Norte, encountered the lawless elements in Sirawai who abducted the alleged five (5) illegal loggers at Sitio Upper Lukungan, Brgy Panabutan, Sirawai.  The firefight which lasted for about ten (10) minutes resulted to one (1) enemy killed and recovery of (1) M1 Garand rifle, other several war items and personal belongings.

In previous months, 42IB, also in a joint operation with the police counterpart, had a series of clashes  with another lawless elements known as “Sumiggal group” in the municipality of Kalawit, Zamboanga del Norte which resulted to the recovery of several war materials. There was no casualty on the government troops.

These joint operations involving the different units under JTF “ZAMPELAN” is in line with the military’s support role to Law Enforcement Operations.

As of today, the vehicular inspection operations of the Law Enforcement Service of LTO-Central Office is still on-going not only in Pagadian City but in the whole Province of Zamboanga del Sur.  This will be done as well in other areas in Mindanao in the coming days.

“The military is continuously assisting other government institutions/agencies in the implementation of the law”, said Maj Gen Roseller G Murillo AFP, 1st ID Commader as he commended the troops for the successful operations.

“The military under Team Tabak will remain professional as it carries out its mandate in the implementation of Martial Law”, he added.

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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – Troops under Joint Task Force “ZAMPELAN” provided area security assistance to the personnel of the Law Enforcement Service of Land Transportation Office (LTO)-Central Office, who were able to confiscate Public Utility Vehicles (PUVs) without franchise in a joint law enforcement operations conducted in Pagadian City, morning of March 10, 2018.

After a thorough coordination between the troops of 53rd Infantry Battalion led by 1LT MICHAEL B BUMIDANG (INF) PA and Land Transportation Office-Central Office for their vehicular inspection operation, thirty five (35) Vans and two (2) Multi-cabs without franchise were confiscated.  The said operation was conducted at vicinity of Integrated Bus Terminal (IBT), Brgy Bulatok, Pagadian City.

“This is a nationwide campaign of LTO and we started here in Pagadian City for the Mindanao area. The primary objective of this nationwide operation is road safety”, said Col Rolando V Abelardo, Deputy Director, Law Enforcement Service, LTO-Central Office based in Metro Manila.

Earlier, on March 04, 2018, troops of 42IB in a joint operation with the Provincial police of Zamboanga del Norte, encountered the lawless elements in Sirawai who abducted the alleged five (5) illegal loggers at Sitio Upper Lukungan, Brgy Panabutan, Sirawai.  The firefight which lasted for about ten (10) minutes resulted to one (1) enemy killed and recovery of (1) M1 Garand rifle, other several war items and personal belongings.

In previous months, 42IB, also in a joint operation with the police counterpart, had a series of clashes  with another lawless elements known as “Sumiggal group” in the municipality of Kalawit, Zamboanga del Norte which resulted to the recovery of several war materials. There was no casualty on the government troops.

These joint operations involving the different units under JTF “ZAMPELAN” is in line with the military’s support role to Law Enforcement Operations.

As of today, the vehicular inspection operations of the Law Enforcement Service of LTO-Central Office is still on-going not only in Pagadian City but in the whole Province of Zamboanga del Sur.  This will be done as well in other areas in Mindanao in the coming days.

“The military is continuously assisting other government institutions/agencies in the implementation of the law”, said Maj Gen Roseller G Murillo AFP, 1st ID Commader as he commended the troops for the successful operations.

“The military under Team Tabak will remain professional as it carries out its mandate in the implementation of Martial Law”, he added.

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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.

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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – In coordination with the Joint Task Force “ZamPeLan”, members of the Philippine National Police in Metro Manila apprehended a certain Abdul Nasser Lomondot at Recto Avenue, Manila March 3, 2018 5:10 pm.

During the said law enforcement operation, recovered in the possession of Lomondot upon arrest were the calibre .45 pistol and hand grenade.

Lomondot is a Maute Group sub-leader who took part in the Marawi rebellion during which he participated in the killing of innocent Christian civilians and committed violence  against female and child hostages.  He was one of the key planners in the attack of Marantao, Lanao del Sur during the Marawi rebellion.  He underwent combat training in Butig, Lanao del Sur along with other Daesh members.

Since the death last year of Isnilon Hapilon, the established Amir of Maute-Deash in Southeast Asia region,  the remnants of the group were scattered into small groups and went into hiding at selected areas of Lanao del Sur.  They were also monitored recruiting and conducting trainings particularly in the boundaries of Lanao and Maguindanao areas where they enjoy a certain level of civilian support.

Earlier this year, an encounter happened in Masiu, Lanao del Sur between the government troops and some elements of the Maute group.  Their other members responsible in the killings of civilian vendors at Piagapo, Lanao del Sur were also apprehended.

Major General Roseller G Murillo AFP, 1ID Commander said, “our recent successes and apprehensions have been yielding valuable information that allows authorities to further hunt down the remnants of the group.  More so, these successes clearly indicate their dwindling organizational leadership and capabilities.”

“The government forces will continue to intensify its internal security operations in Joint Task Force “ZAMPELAN’s” area of operations to neutralize the remnants of terrorist groups in Lanao del Sur”, he added.

At present, Lomondot was brought to Philippine National Police-Manila Police District at UN Avenue, Manila for processing and filing of appropriate cases.

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