While conducting security patrol, troops of the 97th Infantry Battalion encountered undetermined number of the Communist NPA Terrorist (CNT) group in Barangay Balukbahan, Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur at 7:40 am, April 24, 2020.
Said encounter resulted in undetermined number of casualties on the enemy side, as evident on the bloodstains scampered in the area.
The government side lost one brave soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice fighting for his countrymen.
“He was badly wounded during the encounter and expired around 10:00 am while he was being airlifted by our Air Force and military doctors for proper medical attention,” said Lt. Col. Manaros Boransing II, Commanding Officer of the 97th Infantry Battalion.
Pursuit operation is being conducted to neutralize the fleeing militants.
“Same group was encountered by our troops on April 21 where they recovered several war materiel, one M16 rifle, and an improvised explosive device,” said Col. Leonel Nicolas, 102nd Infantry Brigade commander.
In his message, Maj. Gen. Generoso Ponio, Commander, JTF ZamPeLan vowed to sustain the focused military operation in order to destroy the group and free the province from the menaces of society.
“We extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved family and friends of our soldier who paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our people from the terrorist group,” said Maj. Gen. Ponio.
“His sacrifice was borne out of his dedication to protect the constituents of Zamboanga del Sur in pursuit of peace and development,” he added.
Identity of fallen hero is withheld pending notification of his family.
“Amid the worldwide crisis due to corona virus disease, another sickening problem that needs to be continually addressed is terrorism,” said Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command.
“While our soldiers continue to risk their lives supporting our fellow frontliners in the fight against COVID-19, they are also faced to real-life dangers as they fulfil their mission to crush the terrorists and bring peace in the communities,” Lt. Gen. Sobejana added.
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