Celso lauds TFZ, PNP for IED disruption operation PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 09 February 2012 13:26

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday cited operatives from Task Force Zamboanga and local police for the recovery of various components of an improvised explosive device (IED) during an encounter with lawless elements in the island barangay of Landang Laum preventing what could have been another security threat in the city.

“This just goes to show that our authorities are pro-active. Based on reports they received, they conducted operations and the result is the recovery of more than 30 blasting caps, brand new battery, 1.5 kilos of ammonium nitrate and other components of an IED”, the mayor said when the items were presented to him by TFZ Chief Col. Pascual Buenaventura and City Police OIC director Col. Edwin de Ocampo at the City Police Office yesterday afternoon.

Also recovered was the pump boat where the IED components were loaded.

“We commend the Task Force and the Police and instructions have already been given not only to be on the alert but to be very proactive, not only to be visible but to have disruption operations”, the mayor, who is the newly-appointed Regional Peace and Order Council chair, said.

The operation conducted by operatives from TFZ’s 14th Division Reconnaissance Company (DRC) together with CAFGU elements from Sacol, was an intelligence info-driven activity.

TFZ Chief Col. Pascual said reports about the presence of lawless elements in Landang Laum were relayed to his command prompting his operatives to conduct operations. At around 9:45 yesterday morning, the 14th DRC chanced upon four armed men aboard a pump boat off the waters of Landang Laum. The lawless group, believed to be led by Tagu Pili, one of the 10 most wanted persons in the city, fired upon the government troops resulting to a
brief fire fight. The suspects fled towards the mangrove area leaving behind the pump boat with the IED components on it.

Mayor Lobregat said the disruption operation conducted by the authorities thwarted what could have been another security challenge in Zamboanga.

The chief executive did not discount the possibility that the IED components recovered is related to the explosion incidents that earlier happened in the city.

The IED components are being inventoried while operatives continue scouring the mangrove area in Landang Laum and the nearby island barangays in search of the 4 lawless elements.

In addition to the 14th DRC, TFZ chief Col. Buenaventura has also sent platoon of government forces to help in locating the suspects.

Lobregat added that the TFZ and the Police are closely coordinating with each other related to the peace and order situation. “The police normally take the lead role but since the TFZ has CAFGU elements under it in Sacol Island so based on information received, the 14th DRC conducted the operations.” — Sheila Covarrubias