Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City –Combined elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency 12 (PDEA 12) neutralized two lawless elements on Wednesday morning, May 18, 2022. Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario, Jr., Commander of Western Mindanao Command said military troops under the 602nd Infantry Brigade, together with the drug enforcement group, conducted a law enforcement support operation against an armed group under a certain Ebs at Sitio Calumpangan, Barangay Balacayon, Pigcawayan, North Cotabato.
The operation resulted to a brief firefight between the government forces and the armed lawless group. While conducting clearing operations, troops recovered two enemy cadavers and several war materials including two M16 rifles, two cal. 45 pistols, one M14 rifle, one bandolier, one Kevlar helmet, assorted empty shells, one M14 rifle lower reciever, one bulletproof vest, one cal. 45 magazine with seven ammunition, two M16 magazines, nine M14 magazines, and two ID cards.
Col. Jovencio Gonzales, Commander of 602Bde identified the two slain enemies as Datu Romah and Malang Mastura, both comrades of alias Ebs. Col. Gonzales revealed that alias Ebs is an escapee during a jailbreak at Cotabato Provincial Police Office which transpired sometime in 2017. The fugitive then organized an armed group that was reported to be providing logistics support to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters operating in the Cotabato area.
Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, Commander of Joint Task Force Central, commended the troops of the 34th and 90th Infantry Battalions and 1st Scout Ranger Battalion for this significant accomplishment. He also attributed this success to the good coordination between the military and other security agencies such as the PDEA.
Lt. Gen. Rosario, Jr. said that the Western Mindanao Command, through its Joint Task Forces, will continue to intensify its security operations to eliminate the menaces of the society and ensure the safety of the people and sovereignty of the state.