CAMP SANG-AN, ZDS – Almost two weeks after its recent encounter, another clash between the combined elements of the 44th, 42nd, and 97th Infantry Battalion (44IB, 42IB, and 97IB) and the communist terrorist group transpired in Brgy. Fimagas, Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte, Tuesday, August 10.
One CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) member suffered a gunshot wound in his left abdomen after the 15-minute firefight.
“The wounded CAA was brought to ZANORTE Medical Hospital today, August 11, at 3 in the morning and is now undergoing blood transfusion awaiting the result of his X-Ray,” said Lt. Col. Manaros Boransing, Commanding Officer, 97IB.
In recognition of the CAA’s contribution and support during the battalion’s combat operation, 97IB will facilitate the request for the Kagitingan sa Barangay Award that will be presented to the wounded CAA.
Boransing also added that the communist terrorists have no place in Zamboanga del Norte, and the Local Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (LTF ELCAC) in Zamboanga del Norte will not stop the combat operations in the province until all armed communist terrorist surrender.
After suffering an injury, the wounded CAA commits himself to serving the Philippine Army and assisting the soldiers during their combat operations. In 2020, he was also wounded during the encounter between the 44IB and the CTGs in Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte.
On July 30, troops of 97IB also encountered an undetermined number of CTGs under GF-BBC and Regional leadership of the Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee (WMRPC) while conducting combat operations at So. Kumangoy, Brgy. Carupay, Katipunan, ZDN. No casualty was reported on both sides.
According to the wounded CAA, he has seen the adverse effects of terrorism in the community, especially his family. He vows to serve the country and contribute to attaining peace.
Brig. Gen. Leonel M. Nicolas, the 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander who has operational jurisdiction of Zamboanga Peninsula, commended the CAA’s dedication to his duty and assured him that the Army would provide him with the needed assistance.
“We are now starting to win small battles against the Communist Terrorist Cell BBC of the WMRPC who has been, for a long time, evading our forces,” Nicolas said.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Gene M. Ponio, the 1st Infantry Tabak Division commander and concurrent commander of JTF ZAMPELAN, enjoined the 44IB, 42IB, and 97IB to carry on with the operations until the total neutralization of the communist terrorists in the province of Zamboanga del Norte.
“Our troops on the ground have continuously been delivering significant accomplishments in degrading the armed capability of the CTGs through series of encounters,” said Ponio. “Thus, I urge everyone to continue our efforts in restoring the peace not only in Zamboanga del Norte but for the whole island of Mindanao.”
The troops of 97IB are continuously conducting pursuit operations against the fleeing CTG members.