Author: AC of S for CMO OG7

KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – Joint Task Force “Ranao” facilitated the settlement of a decades old “Rido” or violent family feud between the two big political clans in Lanao del Sur today.

Col Generoso M Ponio INF (GSC) PA, Commander of 103rd Infantry Brigade under Joint Task Force “Ranao”, led the settlement of the violent family feud or “Rido” between the families of Tugaya Municipal Mayor Al Fatah Pacalna Balindong and Bacolod Kalawi Municipal Vice Mayor Jafar Dipatuan.

The end to the violent family feud was concluded when the two (2) heads of the families swore on the Holy Qur’an to settle their “Rido”.  The families surrendered twenty –four (24) high-powered firearms to symbolize their resolve to conclude the long-time violent family feud. The weapons surrendered included two (2) caibel .50 sniper “Barret” rifles; six (6) 7.62 millimeter M14 rifles; seven (7) 5.56 millimeter M16 rifles; four (4) 40 millimeter M203 Grenade Launchers; three (3) 40 millimeter M79 Grenade Launchers; one (1) calibre .30 machine Gun and one (1) calibre .30 Browning Automatic Rifle.

Maj Gen Roseller G Murillo AFP, 1ST Infantry (Tabak) Division 

and concurrent Joint Task Force “Ranao” Commander congratulated all the parties involved in the peaceful settlement of the decades old violent family feud. “I commend the 103RD Infantry Brigade for the successful mediation that led to the peaceful settlement of a violent family feud that has cost the lives of many from both sides and affected the peace in the area for so many years”, he added.  The just settled bloody feud was reportedly decades old with two (2) of the more recent incidents being the shooting of one of the scions of the Dipatuan Clan in a busy commercial area of Iligan City last November 13, 2017 and the wounding of four (4) and the displacement of more than 200 families when an hour-long gun-battle between the clans erupted in Bacolod Kalawi town last January 5, 2018.

The settlement was achieved with the active participation of the Provincial Vice-Governor Mamintal “Bombit” Adiong Jr of Lanao del Sur, the Provincial Philippine National Police (PNP) units, Local Religious Leaders, and other members of civil society and the local government at Headquarters, 103rd Infantry Brigade, Kampo Ranao, Marawi City.

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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – Troops of Joint Task Force “ZAMPELAN” encountered members of “lawless elements” at Sitio Balas, Brgy Poblacion, Kalawait, Zamboanga del Norte, at 7:00 o’clock in the morning, January 19, 2017.

The operating troops under 42IB composed of five (5) enlisted personnel and twenty (20) CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) led by Cpl Rowen A Soler (SC) PA were conducting combat patrol at the vicinity of the said area when they encountered the “Suminggal” lawless group.

Suminggal Group is allegedly headed by Monib Aquilan roaming around in the southern part of Zamboanga del Norte conducting extortions and land grabbing activities in the local populace.

The firefight which lasted for about thirty (30) minutes compelled the enemy to withdrew heading towards the direction of Brgy Palalian, Kalawit, ZDN.

After the firefight, the troops recovered one (1) hand guard of M203 grenade launcher; one (1) bolt chamber of M16 rifle; one (1) hammock; 293 ammo of M16 rifle; 254 ammo of M14 rifle; one (1) pair of combat boots and an Arabic booklet.

The 42IB under the stewardship of Lt Col Danilo G Ambe is conducting pursuit operation to track down and eventually defeat the said lawless group that disturbs and brings horror to the normal life of the affected civilian community.

“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, Commader, 1ID, as he lauded the operating troops for the successful encounter.   

“Our active support to Law Enforcement Operations has been vital and momentous for the government. Let us continue to actively support Law Enforcement Support Operations”, he added.

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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – A full military honor was rendered to Lieutenant General Rolando Joselito Delizo Bautista AFP, Commanding General, Philippine Army,  as he visited his former unit today.

Maj Gen Roseller G Murillo AFP, Commander, 1ID, hosted the military honor with the presence of Tabak troopers and Civilian employees earlier at the Division Grandstand.

Immediately after the arrival honor, Lt Gen Bautista proceeded toTabak Fatima Shrine for the Command Conference which was followed by the inauguration and blessing of the G4 quarters.

The highlight of his activities for the day was his brief talk to men to all Tabak troopers where Lt Gen Bautista expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome extended to him.

Plaque of Recognition – Maj Gen Roseller G Murillo AFP, Commander, 1ID, presents the Urbem Liberata memento to LtGen Rolando Joselito Delizo Bautista AFP, Commanding General, Philippine Army, for his successful campaign during the Marawi rebellion.
(In photos from left to right: Maj Gen Gapay, Dr Isabel Cojuanco Suntay, Maj Gen Murillo, Lt Gen Bautista, Brig Gen Donato, Brig Gen Bareng and Brig Gen Fortes)

“It is my pride and privilege visiting the fightingest division of the Philippine Army and will always be grateful for the full support showered upon me which brought my career to where I am today”, said  Lt Gen Bautista.

He also shared his memories being the former Commander of the division and the reminiscences being the Commander of Joint Task Force Ranao who liberated Marawi City last October 2017.

Afterwards, Lt Gen Bautista presented the Plaque of Recognition to Dr Isabel Cojuanco Suntay, Co-founder, Tarlac Heritage Foundation Inc, for her invaluable contribution and unparalleled dedication uplifting the morale and welfare of the officers and men of the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army and to the victims of Marawi siege.

Dr Suntay initiated the housing projects for the internally displaced persons in Marawi City that generated overwhelming public support.

Before going back to Headquarters, Philippine Army in Metro Manila, Lt Gen Bautista and party also visited Marawi City to inspect the progress of the rehabilitation projects initiated by Dr Suntay.


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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur  – The 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army reaffirms its commitment for the nation’s pursuit for a secure, stable and peaceful country conducive to sustainable development for all Filipinos as it conducted the first Command Conference for the year 2018 at the Tabak Fatima Shrine on Monday, January 15, 2018.

The Command Conference, presided by Major General Roseller G Murillo AFP, Commander, 1ID, was attended by the Brigade Commanders, General/Personal/Special and Technical Staffs, other Commanding Officers of units under 1ID. In attendance also were the eight (8) newly assigned field grade Officers projected to command infantry battalions and oocupy General/Special Staff vacancies of this Command.

Prior the said conference, Tabak Division rendered arrival honor to Maj Gen Murillo, Brig Gen Juvymax R Uy AFP, Commander, 104th Infantry Brigade and Brig Gen Divino Rey C Pabayo Jr AFP, Commander, 101st Infantry Brigade, for their well-deserved promotions.

During the conference, Maj Gen Murillo gave his Commander’s Guidance for CY 2018. “As Commander, it is my utmost intent to empower leadership, initiative and improvisation to my men. Our goal is to totally destroy all threat groups within Joint Task Force “ZAMPELAN” the soonest possible time”, was the first guidance given.

Maj Gen Murillo encouraged the unit commanders to continue engaging the communities to develop a culture of peace and ensure that army units are part of the community.  Commanders were then reminded to seek the active intervention of all stakeholders in attaining peace in Western Mindanao and to facilitate community-initiated peace efforts in coordination with Local Government Units (LGUs) and Local Government Agencies (LGAs).

“To all Tabak Troopers, always remember  that you are not alone. I will be with you in every endeavour you shall take. Hence, I am seeking for the full support  of all the men and women of Tabak Division to be with me in this fight and together we will all succeed”, he added.          

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KUTA SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – A Logistics Officer of the New People’s Army surrendered to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Joint Task Force ZAMPELAN at Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur, January 9, 2018.

Lt. Col. Virgilio C. Hamos, Commanding Officer of the 53rd Infantry “MATAPAT” Battalion, stationed at Camp Sabido, Guipos, Zamboanga del Sur accepted the surrender of Ka JAYPEE, a Logistics Officer of Squad 3, Team Baking, SECOM-KARA of Western Mindanano Regional Party Committee.

The surrenderer, 33 years old, married and a resident of Pagadian City brought along his firearm, AK-47 rifle and several ammunitions to Hamos.

According to JAYPEE, the physical hardships and limited supply of food were the reasons for his surrender. Being a family man, the love and responsibility to his wife and their children are more important than risking his life in the mountains for a terroristic cause, he further said.

Major General Roseller G. Murillo, concurrent JTF ZAMPELAN and 1st Infantry Division Commander lauded the efforts of the 53rd Infantry Battalion for its successes against the terrorist NPA. He called on the NPA fighters “to come back to their normal lives and contribute to building a peaceful and sustainable nation.”XXX

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KUTA SANG-AN, Pulacan, Zambo del Sur – Troops of 44th Infantry (Agile and Stable) Battalion, 1st Infantry “TABAK” Division showed their resiliency during the onslaught of Typhoon Vinta on December 23, 2017.

Troops successfully rescued thousands of families affected by flashfloods in municipalities of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay provinces.

Lt. Col Jonathan P. Obena, Battalion Commander of 44th IB, utilized the unit’s resources to save 1500 affected families in partnership with Disaster Response Teams and the Bureau of Fire of the concerned provinces.

The Battalion deployed their rescue teams and facilitated the transportation of affected civilians to evacuation centers utilizing the military trucks. As a form of preventive evacuation, the said civilians were also warned thru Loudspeakers, the same equipment that was notably used during Marawi Seige that likewise saved some of the captured hostages.

“The 1st Infantry “TABAK” Division in collaboration with the Local Government Units in our area of operation will continue to serve the local populace not only in peace and security matters but also in humanitarian assistance and disaster response actions”, said Brig. General Roseller Murillo, the 1st Infantry Division Commander.

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A Christmas picture of a Santa Claus is an obese man with an over-sized red robe, overgrown beard, and a heavy knapsack on his back, but what if the real Santa Claus wears green with heavy boots instead?

These Santa Claus did more than just give gifts but hope. They are soldiers-the valiant 42nd Infantry- Tagapagtanggol Battalion who carried food and water for the typhoon victims on foot in Brgy. Canupong, Gutalac,Zamboanga del Norte. They braved through the treacherous roads of mud and dirt just to get to the victims last December 23.

According to the weather news by Rappler, Vinta (international name Tembin) made its landfall in Davao Oriental last Friday, December 22 by 1:45am. The tropical depression was reported to have maximum winds of 60 km/h and gustiness of up to 90km/h. It placed Southern Palawan, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboang Sibugay in Signal Number 1.

PAGA-ASA reported that it left the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Christmas eve, December 24.

The aftermath of the typhoon left many people to clean up the mess after the flooding. But with the undying Filipino resilience, these soldiers risked through perilous slopes to bring supplies in Brgy. Canupong.

Though Christmas may look different now and the air may seem a little bit colder, these soldiers are bringing home that despite the storm, people could still celebrate Christmas. These soldiers are models of hope and redemption, the silver lining after the rain.

These Santa Claus soldiers risked their safety, set aside their Christmas preparations, and interrupted their holiday to make sure that typhoon victims could still celebrate Christmas with full stomachs even if they are not in their homes.

Heroism like this just goes to show that the stereotypical Santa Claus is not always red because Santa Claus could be a soldier too.

A Story by Mizzy Chinggay

Photo credit to Capt. Macario of 42 Infantry Battalion

42nd Infantry Battalion’s Mother unit is the 9th Infantry “SPEAR” Division based in Bicol Region. With the battalions deployment in Mindanao, 1st Infantry “TAbAK” Division took command of the unit.

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