ZAMBOANGA CITY – Soldiers from the 40th Infantry Battalion (IB) encountered an undetermined number of Armed Lawless Group (ALG) members at the hinterland of General Salipada K. Pendatun town in Maguindanao at dawn on Tuesday, December 1.
Armed Force of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) Commander Lt Gen Corleto Vinluan, Jr. said the soldiers were conducting a combat patrol in Barangay Bulod, General Salipada K. Pendatun, Maguindanao when they encountered an undetermined number of ALG under Commander Mac4 at around 2 a.m.
A firefight immediately ensued between the ALG and the soldiers which lasted for about five minutes after which the ALG scampered to the different direction under the cover of darkness.
“Due to our troops’ vantage position, the militants disengaged from the gunfight bringing along their casualties with them,” said Vinluan.
While clearing the encounter site, the soldiers were able to recover several high-powered firearms and other war materials such as one Rocket-Propelled Grenade, one Barrette, one M79, one M14, two M16, four 7.62mm AR16, one Pistol submachine gun 9mm M10, eight magazines for AR, two M16 magazines, four Bandoliers, one hydro pack, one Sling Bag, one magazine for 9mm Pistol submachine gun, five cellular phones, 26 rounds cartridge of Caliber .50 Ball, 89 rounds of 7.62mm Ball, 48 rounds of 5.56mm Ball, one Baofeng radio with a spare battery, and one Cygnus radio spare battery.
Lt. Col. Rogelio Gabi, Commanding Officer of the 40th IB said, “we immediately deployed supplemental troops to reinforce the engaged soldiers.”
Vinluan said they also received information that members of ALG under Lakim Esmael also known as “Mac4,” a former member of kidnap for ransom group under Tahir Alonto, were also involved in the proliferation of illegal drugs and extortion in Barangay Langgapanan, Sultan Sabarongis, Maguindanao.