CAMP NAVARRO, Calarian, Zamboanga City (DWDD) – Troops under the Joint Task Force Zampelan led by Brigadier General Rolly Bautista, encountered an estimated thirty (30) Communist Terrorists late in the afternoon of Saturday (May 13) at Sitio Malagak, Brgy Guinoman, Diplahan, Zamboanga Sibugay Province.
According to Capt Joan Petinglay, WesMnCom spokesperson, soldiers of the 44th Infantry Battalion engaged in a firefight against the NPAs under SECOM Feliciano Bravo, of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee at 5pm last Saturday.
Two identified leaders of the NPAs were dentified as alias Tibo and alias Henry who led their members in a firefight.
Upon clearing the engagement area, soldiers found two (2) dead CTs and were able to recover two (2) high-powered firearms, one (1) AK47 and one (1) M16 rifle.
Soldiers also saw bloodstains in the area and on the route of the enemy withdrawal. Meanwhile, two local civilian volunteers operating with the soldiers were wounded during the firefight.
As of this report, troops from 44IB are conducting pursuit and blocking positions in the immediate vicinity of the encounter area. “This is a positive result of the military’s continued engagements with the local populace and LGUs.
The shared commitment of attaining peace with local authorities resulted to strong cooperation of the communities to report the presence of NPA members at Sitio Malagak,” said Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commander of the Joint Task Force Zampelan and concurrent Commander of the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army.
“The NPA terrorists under the SECOM Feliciano Bravo of Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee were involved in numerous atrocities committed particularly arson, extortions, killings and abductions. In this regard, there will be no let up of operations against these bandits in order to protect the people and the communities,” Brig. Gen. Bautista said.
Meanwhile, the soldiers of the Philippine Marines were also able to encounter members of the NPA in the mountains of Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat Province.
During the clearing operations, troops of Marine Battalion Landing Team-2 (MBLT2) were able to recover one (1) M16 and four (4) Improvised Explosive Devices.
“I would like to congratulate the troops of the Joint Task Force Zampelan and the Joint Task Force Central for the laudable accomplishments,” says Lieutenant General Carlito G Galvez, Jr, Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“We would also like to recognize the overwhelming support received from the local government units and the communities. Truly, without these assistance, we will not be able to accomplish our mission easily.” “As long as we are together in this fight, we are sure to win over any kinds of threat that hinders communities to be peaceful and progressive,” LTGen Galvez adds. WESTMINCOM / MCAG