Soldiers, lawless group clash in Sibugay Province 

By Julmunir I. Jannaral

ZAMBOANGA CITY

A firefight transpired between the military and an armed lawless group in Malangas, Zamboanga Sibugay Province on the morning of Wednesday.

“Based on the report from the ground, while the combined elements of the 44th Infantry Battalion and 1st Provincial Mobile Force Company were conducting a joint law enforcement operation in Barangay Mulom, Malangas, they encountered more or less ten armed men believed to be members of the Boy Negro Criminal Group,” said Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan, Jr., Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

A firefight ensued which lasted for ten minutes after which the enemies withdrew bringing along their casualties with them.

According to Lt. Col. Filven Noche, Commanding Officer of the 44IB, supplemental troops were immediately deployed to reinforce the engaged troops.

“We also established blockades to contain the movements of the fleeing enemies,” Lt. Col. Noche stated. 

While clearing the encounter site, troops recovered one Samsung keypad cellphone, one bonnet, six jungle hammocks, kitchen utensils, one pair of rain boots, four sacks
 of milled rice, two liters of cooking oil, and one poncho.

“All patrol bases of the 44IB along the coastal areas of Malangas were tasked to conduct checkpoint operations and to monitor enemy sightings,” said Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas,
Commander of the 102nd Infantry Brigade.

Pursuit operations are continuously being conducted to neutralize the lawless elements.

Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, Commander of the Joint Task Force ZamPeLan, commended the troops of the 102Bde and 44IB in particular for their gallantry and perseverance to end terrorism and criminalities in their area of operation. 

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. said the military will never cease to fulfill its mandated tasks despite the emerging threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Together with our partners, we will continue to pursue the remaining enemies of the state while we assist the government in flattening the curve of the contagion,” said Lt. Gen. Vinluan, Jr. JIJ

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