Army troops rescues kidnap victim, Clash with ASG in Zamboanga del Norte

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CAMP SANG-AN, Zamboanga del Sur | A FilAm kidnap victim was rescued by Army’s 42nd Infantry Battalion after their engagement with the Kidnap for Ransom Group in Brgy Pisa Itom, Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte, 10:20 a.M. Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

Mr. Rex Triplitt, was abducted by armed men wearing camouflage uniform last September 16, while he and his wife were on board their motorcycle on their way home to Barangay Piacan, Siarawai.

“Since the incident, our troops relentlessly conducted pursuit operations to deny these terrorists from leaving the Peninsula,” said Lt. Col. Leon Onggao Jr Commanding Officer, 42IB based in Barangay Doña Cecilia of same town.

“We are preventing them from transporting the victim to the island provinces of Basilan or Sulu,” Lt. Col. Onggao added.

The firefight incurred no casulaties on the governement side.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Leonel Nicolas, Commander, 102nd Infantry Brigade, who has operational jurisdiction of Zamboanga del Norte in a statement stressed that the Army’s operations will continue despite this signifcant accomplishment.

“Our pursuit and manhunt operations together with other security forces will continue until we apprehend these terrrorists and make them accountable to court,” Brig. Gen. Nicolas said.

“Further, our sincere gratitude to the MILF and MNLF leadership for the assistance and support extended throughout the course of operation,” Brig. Gen. Nicolas added.

The rescued victim is now being secured by the troops on the ground and transported for evacuation and immediate medical evaluation.

Maj. Gen. Gene Ponio, Commander, 1st Infantry Division commended the troops for the successful rescue of Triplitt.

“I laud the troops for the exemplary demonstration of professionalism and tactical skills in selectively engaging the enemy while preserving the life of the victim,” Maj. Gen. Ponio said.

“We have shown how effective we are against these terrorist group noting the neutralization of six of its members this month”, added Maj. Gen. Ponio.

“This success would also not have been possible without the active participation of the different local government units and barangay officials through the Crisis Management Center. Likewise, the concerted efforts through constant coordination, cooperation and collaboration with NICA9, PNP, Coast Guard and other AFP Units greatly contributed to this rescue operations,” Maj. Gen. Ponio concluded.

As of this posting, troops are still pursuing the fleeing elements of the ASG.