5 killed, 8 wounded in Basilan ambush

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/23 October) – Five persons, mostly rubber tappers and a militiaman, were killed while eight others were wounded in an early morning ambush Sunday in a remote village in Basilan province, the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) spokesperson said.

Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said the ambush took place at around 5:30 a.m. Sunday in Sitio Along-Along, Barangay Upper Cabengbeng, Sumisip.

Army chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz in a text message said the perpetrators of the ambush were at least 40 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Frront (MILF) led by Hassan Asnawi.

But MILF spokesperson Von Al Haq told MindaNews the MILF had nothing to do with the Sumisip ambush. “Hindi MILF,” he said.

Cabangbang said the victims were aboard a truck of the Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Incorporated Development Cooperative (TARBIDC) on their way to their worksite to tap rubber latex when ambushed.

Killed were Fernando Tantalo, an off-duty militiaman and the group’s foreman, Renato Aligay, Junrel Langugon, Delord Johnson, and Buenaventura Lugamay.

Wounded were Gilbert Guevarra and Bonifacio Dagodog, Jr. both militiamen, Alfredo Rojas, Danilo Tonghay, Adzar Madjakin, Abdul Mot, Julibert Dingkong, and Francisco Taklindo.

Cabangbang said a team of soldiers from the Army’s 4th Scout Ranger Battalion were immediately deployed to track down the perpetrators. (MindaNews)