Army Soldiers Foil Attack on a Basilan Priest
FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City- Army soldiers on a security patrol clashed with bandits in an upland village in Sumisip town, Basilan at around 10:50 a.m. on Sunday, July 15, preempting any atrocities against passing motorists.
Reports reaching this headquarters from 104th Brigade of the Philippine Army said that a team of soldiers from the 20th Special Forces Company was dispatched to secure the vicinity of Sitio Along-along, Upper Cabengbeng of the said town.
The deployment of security forces upon the request of Tumahubong parish priest Rev. Father Julius Boado who was supposed to travel to Isabela City during that day.
As the soldiers patrolled the bushes near the roadside, they were fired upon by undetermined number of heavily armed bandits who were positioned in a high ground overlooking the road.
The soldiers engaged the rebels in a 10-minute running gun battle, forcing the bandits to flee in disarray with their casualties as indicated by the bloodstains along the escape route.
No one was harmed among the soldiers who have mounted relentless pursuit operations to hunt down the remnants of the bandit group. The same group of bandits is believed responsible for the bloody ambush which claimed the lives of 6 people, and the wounding of 22 others, a couple of days ago.
A civilian resident in the area named Totong Alih, was slightly injured in his left thigh. He was promptly given first-aid treatment by the combat medics of the 4th Scout Ranger Battalion who rushed to the scene to reinforce the engaged soldiers.
Col Arthur Ang, the Commander of the Army's 104th Brigade, has advised the priest to postpone his scheduled travel as more soldiers are sent to track down the bandits.
Ang has commended the troops of the 20th Special Forces Company led by Pfc Adonis Cabag for preempting any attack against passersby in Sumisip town.
A dialogue attended by senior local leaders like ARMM Gov Mujib Hataman, Bishop Martin Jumuad and military and police authorities, was immediately conducted to discuss the security situation in the area.