AFP reiterates firefight in Patikul, Sulu was a legitimate encounter

Published September 16, 2018, 3:21 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Francis Wakefield

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Sunday reiterated that the firefight that took place in Patikul, Sulu, on Friday afternoon that left seven Abu Sayyaf terrorists killed was a result of a legitimate encounter.

Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“We stand firm in our report that this was a legitimate encounter contrary to enemy propaganda that it was a “massacre,” said AFP spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo in a statement.

“The site of the encounter is a notorious ASG territory. That is a fact established by military and human intelligence. The folks of Patikul know it very well such that no civilians dared to go or pass by the place,” he added.

Arevalo insisted that aside from seven Abu Sayyaf terrorists killed, the encounter also resulted in the wounding of six other terrorists including ASG sub-leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan who was seriously hit in his stomach and lower extremities.

He added that the focus military operations (FMO) also resulted in the wounding of 17 of their troops due to shrapnel wounds as a result of the one hour and thirty minutes of fierce firefight.

Arevalo said the AFP leadership commends the operating units from Joint Task Force Sulu under Brig..Gen. Divino Rey Pabayo for successful FMO in a known Abu Sayyaf terrorist lair in Brgy. Bakong, Patikul, Sulu on Friday, September 14, at about 1:30 p.m.

Troops recovered from the encounter site an M16 rifle, four magazines for 5.56 mm, a bandolier, a civilian pack, three keypad cellphone, a touch screen cellphone, eight pieces of syringe, IED components (9 Volts battery, 1 blasting cap with wire, 161 piece live 5.56 rounds, four pieces 7.62mm rounds, one empty 50 caliber rounds, two box empty m249 ammunition, 23 empty shell 40mm, and enemy assorted personal effects.

“We praise the combat skills of our soldiers in seizing the element of surprise and firepower. They were unfazed by volleys of retaliatory fire from more or less 100 Abu Sayyaf terrorists under senior leader Radullan Sahiron and sub-leaders Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan and Idang Susukan,” Arevalo said