ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/22 October) – The death toll in the ambush of government forces in Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay has risen to 8 as one of the wounded soldiers died Friday at the Ciudad Medical Zamboanga.
Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) said 1st Lt. Wilfredo Angcog expired at around 7:30 p.m. Friday, 24 hours after the ambush at 7:21 p.m. Thursday in Barangay Gulayon, Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay.
Angcog was among the soldiers returning to their headquarters from a security patrol when alleged members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) ambushed them. The MILF countered it was the military that attacked their camp.
Col. Santiago Baluyot, commander of the Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade on Friday said there were two ambush incidents Thursday: the first at 7:21pm in Barangay Gulayon, Alicia municipality, and the second four hours later, in Barangay Simbol, Kabasalan town.
Baluyot said four soldiers were killed and five others were wounded in the first ambush. He identified three of the four slain soldiers as Msgt. Saidale Dimasar, Tsgt. Jin-nurain Ajijul and Cpl. Reynaldo
Baluyot said the troops were in a convoy returning from a security patrol to their headquarters in Barangy Sanito, Ipil, the capital town of Zamboanga Sibugay, when ambushed by suspected MILF guerrillas.
Insp. Salvador Galvez, police chief of Kabasalan, said three policemen including his deputy were killed while two others were wounded in the second ambush.
Killed were Insp. Jose Rizaldy Calibogar, Police Officer 2 Angelito Tayag, and Senior Police Officer 1 Lito Arsenal.
Wounded were Police Officer 1 Joel Capitaña and Army Pfc. Hermes Sagario.
Galvez said the combined police and Army forces were conducting security patrol when ambushed by suspected rebels.
In an article posted Friday in its website (www.luwaran.com) the MILF accused the 1st Infantry Division of attacking their 113th Base Command in Sitio Taib, Barangay Labatan, Payao town in Zamboanga Sibugay.
“Two Philippine naval boats joined the ground troops in the other day’s offensive. Report said more than 100 government soldiers including Special Forces were mobilized for the operations which are
now fortifying positions in the area,” the article said.
“We feel and see the move and intention of the government to create scenarios that would lead to blaming the MILF that would derail the peace process and negotiations,” the article quoted an unnamed rebel commander as having said.
Alleged violations of the 1997 ceasefire agreement signed by the government and MILF peace panels are brought to the attention of their Joint Coordinating Committee on Cessation of Hostilities and the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team led by Malaysia, for investigation. (MindaNews)