via Eunice Samonte
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año expressed his commendations to the troops in Marawi over the confirmed neutralization of Five Daesh-inspired Maute members who opted to continue with their terrorist ways and refused to heed the call to surrender, be treated humanely, mend their ways, and live a life of a true believer of Islam.
Two of the bodies were recovered with each of their high-powered firearms and a pair of night vision googles after around 30 minutes of fierce firefight by Marines of 62nd MC, Marine Special Operations Group that conducted the assault at wee hours of the morning on or about 0119H of 12 Sept 2017. Other personal effects of the neutralized terrorists were also seized.
Meanwhile, three of the dead bodies were dragged away by their withdrawing companions before burning the structure to prevent government security forces from recovering the bodies of the dead terrorists.
This development come in the heels of the recent two-and-a-half hour visit of the AFP Chief to the Main Battle Area (MBA) in Marawi on 11 September 2017 accompanying the Commander-in-Chief President Rodrigo Duterte.
The recent developments brought to 660 the total number of neutralized terrorists and 682 firearms seized in the ongoing AFP operations to quell the rebellion in Marawi. But this is not without cost to our fighting men.
In the retaking of two buildings in a cluster of structures that used to be terrorist stronghold where 100 hostages where kept and women were forced to marry the terrorists, Major Rommel Sandoval, Company Commander of 11 Scout Ranger Company attempted to rescue one of his fatally wounded men hoping to save him. The soldier died; Major Sandoval lost his in the process.
The AFP Chief then flew in to Camp Siongco in Awang, Maguindanao 12September2017 to visit the troops of the 6th Infantry “Kampilan” Division of the Philippine Army.
The 6ID Commander and the concurrent Commander, Joint Task Force Central, MGen Arnel de a Vega, gave Gen Año unit briefing highlighting the unit’s tasks, missions accomplished, and ways ahead.
The AFP Chief expressed his deep satisfaction over 6ID’s accomplishments, specifically in contributing immensely to the prevention of the reinforcements coming from Central Mindanao apart from the Division’s other successful operations that further degraded the terrorist NPA’s threat capability.
“You have your units deployed in Marawi that contributes to the overall accomplishments of Task Force Marawi. But more than that, your vigilant implementation of your Operation Plans ‘Total Defense’ and ‘Iron Shield’ has thus far effectively prevented the spill-over of terrorists to Cotabato City and other significant locations in your Area Of Responsibility (AOR).”
In his talk to the key Division staff officers, Brigade, and Battalion Commanders in attendance, he stressed his aspiration of addressing insurgency and terrorism, and other security threats simultaneously. After the focus of men and materiel in Marawi, he vowed to turn to the New People’s Army, the Abu Sayyaf, and other supporters and sympathizers. (AFP-PAO-PR)