CAMP SANG-AN, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion clashed against six members of a lawless armed group in Brgy Tampalan, Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay, 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 29, 2019.

According to Lt. Col. Don Templonuevo, 44th Infantry Battalion commander, “There were reports from the communities of the presence of a armed group, so we immediately respond that call and that resulted into this encounter”.

“Our troops were also able to seized one M14 and one M16 rifles, two rifle grenade, two cellphones, one motorized single engine pump boat, magazines ammunitions and personal belongings”.

No reported casualties in the government forces side, while undetermined on the armed group due to bloodstains in their route of withdrawal after the 15-minute firefight.

Meanwhile, Col. Leonel Nicolas, 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander who has operational jurisdiction over Zamboanga Sibugay province urged the wounded armed elements to surrender for them to be given proper medical treatment and assured them of their safety and security.

Nicolas also encouraged the people to cooperate and report to proper authorities if there are presence of armed groups in their communities.

For his part, Maj. Gen. Roberto Ancan, the 1st Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Zampelan (Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces) commander, lauded the troops for the successful encounter and the recovery of firearms.

“I urge everyone to continue our efforts in pursuing lasting peace not just for Mindanao but for the whole country. Let us conquer the challenges ahead of us and step up the momentum in sustaining our gains for our common aspiration”, said Ancan.