By Nonoy Lacson
ZAMBOANGA CITY – An Army lieutenant was killed, while nine soldiers were wounded, in an armed encounter with heavily armed men believed to be members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) at around noontime Monday, June 22.
Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) Commander Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said troops from 32nd Infantry Battalion (32IB) were conducting focused military operations when they chanced upon an undetermined number of ASG fighter in Sitio Tubig Bukayon, Barangay Pansul in Patikul, Sulu at about 12:35pm, Monday, June 22.
A firefight immediately ensued between the soldiers and ASG that killed on-the-spot First Lt. Ryan Lou G. Retener and wounded. Sgt. Lito P. Nuevo Jr., Private First Class (PFC) Harold Kim B. Sagante, PFC J-R E. Sebastian, PFC Danar J. Berganio, Private Jan P. Maligaya, Private Zyrus L. Wayas, Pvt Arthur D. De Leon, Pvt Raffy C. Santillan and Pvt Jerric D. Nantes.
The wounded soldiers were immediately transported to Camp General Teodulfo Bautista Hospital (CGTBH) in Jolo, Sulu for treatment.
The soldiers were all members of the 32nd IB, a component battalion of the 11th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army stationed in Sulu province.
Sobejana was not able to disclose the number of casualties on the part of the enemy, but said that blood stains were seen by soldiers from the ASG’s position at the encounter site.