ASG camp seized in Basilan Print
Sunday, 14 May 2017 16:35

The Joint Task Force Basilan under Col Juvymax R Uy consisting of the 4th Special Forces Battalion and 3rd Scout Ranger Regiment scores anew after successively engaging the scampering Abu Sayaff Group yesterday (May 11, 1017).

Using reports from ASG surrenderees, the local populace and the Local Government Units, JTF “B” was able to track down ASGs temporary encampments in Brgy Pamatsaken, Sumisip Municipality believed to be harboring ASG Sub Leader Furuji Indama just before dawn yesterday.

The seized camp reveals (12) makeshift tents capable of accommodating MOL 30-40 Abu Sayaff Bandits across 150 meters of hilltop.

Heavy bloodstains were also found in the vicinity, with reports rounding to no less than twenty (20) ASG fatalities from the combined airstrike and indirect fires.

The troops also recovered several foodstuffs and explosives components capable of making thirty (30) IEDs.

Special Forces Demolition Specialists recovered three (3) live IEDs.

A successive firefight followed as the Rangers caught up with the fleeing bandits some 300 meters from the seized encampment.

“Our troops were able to cordon the enemy due to the accurate and timely indirect fires and close air support delivered by our Artillery and the Philippine Airforce,” notes Colonel Juvymax Uy, Commander of the Joint Task Force Basilan notes.

“Also, the information being volunteered by the populace and LGUs provided critical information to validate the intelligence we have on hand” he adds.

Naval Task Group Basilan also conducted maritime interdiction operations to prevent the bandits from escaping by sea while the Philippine Airforce assets delivered its deadly payload, inflicting immediate fatalities to the ASGs.

Unlike previous engagements, the ASGs have now resorted to evading government forces as their resources run low.

“We no longer experience the prolonged firefights with the ASGs. This suggests that they have run out of ammunition and other supplies necessary to engage government forces. More than just resources, they no longer have the mass base they once enjoy.” adds Col Uy.

Debriefing from ASG surrenderees revealed that most of their members “have lost the will to fight due to the intensified military operations and no longer believes in the promises of a better life with the terrorist group.” They also add that “joining the group brought us nothing but pain, hardship and death on our part”.

“We are seeing the end of the group as their leaders are taken down, their encampments seized, their support system crumbled, their morale very low, and the continuing surrender of their subleaders and members,” says Lieutenant General Carlito G Galvez, Jr, Commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

“It will only be a matter of time before the ASG reaches the tipping point and eventually becomes crumbled and defeated.”

Just four (4) days ago (May 8, seven (7) Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members surrendered to the elements of the Joint Task Force Sulu under the Western Mindanao Command.

Abu Sayyaf members Aminula Sakili, Saharijan Sakili, Haydel Sahidul, Sattar Sadjal, Orik Samsuraji, Princibal Abdan, and Annu Asaraji, a.k.a. Anwar, yielded to the elements of the Philippine Marine Ready Fleet Sulu, the MID2, and the Marine Battalion Landing Team-1 in Sitio Kanjawali, Barangay Tandu Bato, Luuk, Sulu at 12:35pm, Monday (May 8.

The surrendered Abu Sayyaf members also turned over an M16 rifle, an M14 rifle, a Garand rifle, a Caliber .38 pistol, and a Caliber .45 pistol.

The subjects are followers of sub-leaders Sansibar Bensio and Tomas Idjas, who are under the late subleader Alhabsy Misaya.

As of this report, there are a total of 48 Abu Sayyaf bandits who have laid down their arms. Of this number, 12 have yielded to the government forces in Sulu, 25 in Basilan, and 11 in Tawi-Tawi.

“We expect more Abu Sayyaf to surrender this upcoming weeks as our ground units have been receiving more intentions from ASG members to surrender,” the WestMinCom Chief adds.

“This strongly manifests that as long as the local government unit, the populace, the traditional and religious leaders, and every one who has a stake for peace will work together against terror and lawlessness, we will surely defeat the Abu Sayyaf in due time,” LtGen Galvez closes.