Headquarters, Western Mindanao, Command, Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – Following a heavy armed confrontation with elements of the Joint Task Force Central, the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CNN) suffered several casualties based on reports gathered by the military in Sultan Kudarat Province at past 10 in the morning yesterday (March 20, 2017).
Operating troops of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-2 under the Joint Task Force Central were conducting focused military operations when they encountered about 50 militants led by Tirzo Sakudal, a.k.a Commander Macmac, in Barangay Hinalaan, Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat.
Said exchange of gunfire ensued for 20 minutes, after which the militants withdrew, bringing with them their casualties.
At 10:40am of same day, Marine troops delivered fire mission and reinforced the engaging troops.
As of this report, pursuit and blockade are being conducted by our ground troops to thwart the extrication of the rebels. Aerial and land assets are being utilized to track down the fleeing armed rebels in the immediate vicinity of the encounter site.
Unfortunately, a soldier died, while eight others were wounded and immediately extricated by the responding team for prompt medical attention.
“It is with grief that we report to you the death of one of our soldiers during the firefight. We will make sure that his remains be accorded with the highest honor and his family be given the most assistance that the government can provide,” said Major General Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., Commander, Western Mindanao Command.
“Our wounded personnel are now being attended to by the best surgical team of the Armed Forces.”
“The Joint Task Force Central will continue to conduct focused military operations and maximize intelligence monitoring with the assistance of the police, the local government, and the civilians in the province of Sultan Kudarat.”
“We will exhaust all means through our Joint Task Force Central, led by Brigadier General Arnel Dela Vega, to disallow these rebels to thrive in the communities and continue doing their terroristic activities,” MGEN Galvez adds.
The names of the casualties will be held pending notification of their next of kin.