By Francis Wakefield
Sixth Infantry Division (6th ID) Commander Major General Cirilito Sobejana said the killings of soldiers and civilians in their area of responsibility were indicative of retaliatory actions perpetrated by terror and lawless groups as they suffered numerous setbacks from the relentless security operations of the government forces to safeguard the populace.
Sobejana made the remark following the death of a soldier who was shot dead in Barangay Broce, DOS (Datu Odin Sinsuat), Maguindanao, on Sunday, March 3, at about 7 p.m.
The victim identified as Corporal Sahelbasar K. Alaja, assigned at the Army’s 90th Infantry Battalion, was on board a tricycle (payong payong) which was then traversing Broce Road when upon reaching in front of Broce Elementary School, and was shot to death by an unknown perpetrator.
The victim was rushed to the Cotabato Regional Medical Center (CMRC). but was declared dead on-arrival by the attending physician.
Sobeja assured that the troops’ morale remained high, and that their resolved to beat the menace of terrorism remained intact.
“Hence, the 6th ID will further strengthen its intelligence operations to foil attempts by the terrorist groups in attacking off-duty military personnel,” Sobejana said.
“We will continue to step up our Focused Military Operations to put an end-game to terrorism,” he added.
Sobejana said the troops were likewise reminded to be extra vigilant even on off-duty as they could fall prey to treacherous attacks.
Similar caution was given to the people in Central Mindanao.
He added that the support and cooperation of the civilian community remains very vital in achieving sustainable peace in the area.
“The shooting incidents were so disturbing that bring to forth the need to stop it in no time,” Sobejana said.
“The perpetrators on the recent atrocities have to face the consequences of their inhuman acts,” he added.
Sobejana said Cotabato City being the hub of economy in the Autonomous Region needs to be insulated from security threats.