The AFP Chief of Staff, General Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., conferred the Wounded Personnel Medal to the 24 wounded troops during his visit at the Headquarters of Joint Task Force Sulu, Kuta Heneral Bautista, Barangay Busbus, Jolo, Sulu and at Camp Navarro General Hospital, within the WestMinCom Headquarters in this city.
This was after the troops of JTF Sulu encountered more than 50 Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members around 4:10pm last Friday in Barangay Liang and with more than 20 ASG members around 5:20pm on Saturday at Km. 5, Barangay Latih, all in Patikul, Sulu.
Troops of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu under Brigadier General Divino Rey Pabayo have intensified efforts against the ASG bandits to rescue all remaining kidnap victims in the area.
Based on the latest information from the community, the latest encounters caused the death of almost Ten (10) Abu Sayyaf members.
The government troops suffered Five (5) casualties and a total of 24 wounded soldiers.
The JTF Sulu aims to rescue the remaining ASG kidnap victims: one (1) Vietnamese, one (1) Dutchman and four (4) local Filipinos before the year ends.
Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega said that “WestMinCom recognizes the heroism of our troops and we empathize with their respective families for the loss. This is the ultimate sacrifice our soldiers pay just to ensure that peace can be won in this part of the country.”
“Despite the losses, we also have to recognize the efforts of the JTF Sulu and its troops that continuously pressure the bandits resulting to the successive and successful rescue of kidnap victims in Sulu,” LtGen Dela Vega added.