Security forces neutralized a lawless element and arrested another bandit in a joint operation in Zamboanga Sibugay yesterday, March 27.
“Government troops were serving the arrest warrant on Reynante Alih Abelilla for violation of the comprehensive law on firearms and ammunition when they were fired upon by members of Brahama Ali’s group,” said Lieutenant Colonel Don Templonuevo, 44th Infantry Battalion Commander.
Personnel of the 44IB and the Philippine National Police engaged in a 30-minute gunfight with Ali’s group in Barangay La Paz, Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay at 10am yesterday, resulting in the death of Kaizer Cuarto Cruz and the seizure of a caliber .45 pistol, a hand grenade, and 25 grams of shabu.
Troops also arrested a lawless element, who is now in police’s custody for proper filing of appropriate charges and disposition.
Ali’s group is involved in kidnap for ransom and various illegal activities, including illegal drugs.
“The encounter was the result of the collaboration among the stakeholders, especially the peace-loving civilians in the area who continuously report the presence of this lawless group,” said Colonel Bagnus Gaerlan, Jr., 102nd Infantry Brigade Commander.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Roberto Ancan, Joint Task Force Zampelan Commander, commended the troops that led to the neutralization of the lawless elements and the disruption of their terror activities.
“The Tabak Troopers, in collaboration with the police, will intensify joint law enforcement operation to protect the people and communities against lawless elements,” added Ancan.
Lieutenant General Arnel Dela Vega, commander of Western Mindanao Command, said, “We are seeing the positive result of this concerted effort and we hope to sustain the same cooperation with the police and other law enforcement agencies.”
“Through our internal security operations, we hope to eventually disband private armed groups that serve as machineries of terror groups in the area,” he added.