By Jong Cadion
ZAMBOANGA CITY (December 11, 2017) - Only two days after soldiers of the 53rd Infantry Battalion recovered a cadaver of a Communist Terrorist after a three-hour encounter in Barangay Gasa, Lawa, Zamboanga del Sur, a follow up operation resulted in another clash between the government forces and the terrorists just a few kilometers away from the first encounter site at 3pm, Sunday (December 10), military official said.
Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom) Cpt Jo-Ann D. Petinglay disclosed that the Communist Terrorists were believed to be combined members of the MRGU and SECOM-KARA, of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee. The firefight that lasted for an hour and a half yielded to the recovery of the following war materiel and personal belongings: M60 Cal 7.62 Light Machine Gun; one M16 rifle; one anti-personnel mine; medical supplies; jungle hammocks and backpacks.
“As of this report, other units were directed to maneuver towards probable withdrawal areas of the enemy while simultaneously conducting combat tracking and pursuit operations,” said Brigadier General Roseller Murillo, commander of the Joint Task Force Zampelan.
“We believe that the enemy incurred heavy casualties since bloodstains were seen by troops in their withdrawal route.”
Cpt. Petinglay said that there were no casualties on the side of the operating government forces.
Meanwhile, two more terrorists yielded to the troops of the 33rd Infantry Battalion Sunday morning in Sultan Kudarat Province.
Ruben Balagay, a.k.a Rustom, and Marlon Dayaw, a.k.a Marmar, turned over a Cal .30 Garand and ammunition upon their surrender at 11:30 am Sunday.
“This is a very good development manifesting that we are winning against the communist terrorists in our Joint Area of Operation,” said Major General Arnel Delavega, commander of the Joint Task Force Central.
Troops are currently engaged in complementing operations against different threat groups within the entire WestMinCom area.
“My guidance is for our units to immediately engage in a no let-up operation after our Commander-in-Chief declared the CPP-NPA-NDF a terrorist organization,” said Lieutenant General Carlito G Galvez, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command. “We will be more motivated to accomplish our mission.”
“I congratulate all our troops for this recent accomplishment,” added LtGen Galvez.