The Philippine Army’s 97th Infantry Battalion clashed with Communist NPA Terrorists in Barangay Balukbahan, Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur on April 24, 2020.
One trooper paid an ultimate sacrifice after the encounter while on pursuit operations against the armed group who continuously threatened and harassed the communities in Bayog town.
“He was badly wounded during the engagement and expired around 10:00 a.m. during the emergency air evacuation by our Air force and our military doctors”, said Lt.Col. Manaros Boransing II, Commanding Officer of the 97th Infantry Battalion.
It can be recalled that on April 21, 2020, the battalion encountered the same armed group, where the government troopers recovered one M16 rifle and an anti-personnel mine.
The troops believed that several members of the NPAs were wounded during the clash as shown by the bloodstains in their route of withdrawal.
Lt.Col. Boransing vowed to continue the focused military operation in the area without letup.
Major General Gene Ponio, Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division Commander offered his condolences and has directed to fast track the granting of all necessary assistance to the bereaved family.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to the bereaved family and friends of our soldier who offered the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our people against the terrorist group but rest assured that we will bring the full brunt of the law on those who were responsible for his death.” MGen Ponio said.
“His sacrifice was borne out of his dedication in protecting the constituents of Zamboanga del Sur in pursuit of peace and development”, MGenPonio said.
Additional troops were sent in order to pursue the fleeing terrorists as well as to ensure the safety and security of the local populace in the area.