TACLOBAN CITY- Soldiers from the region who are were deployed in war-torn Maguindanao engaged in a long gun battle with the members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) on March 22.
This gun battle resulted to the deaths of two soldiers and three “key pillars” of the BIFF, included the one who said to have killed a commando of the Philippine National Police’ Special Action Force(SAF).
This was disclosed by Lt. Col. Edgar de los Reyes, commanding officer of the 34th Infantry Battalion which was deployed to Maguindanao to help fight against the terrorist group BIFF.
Killed in action were Private First Class Marlon Marino and Corporal Faizal Julmain.
Marino was from Silvino Lobos, Northern Samar, the same town of SAF commando PO1 Joseph Sagonoy, the one seen in a viral video being finished off by a BIFF member.
Incidentally, the killer of Sagonoy was among the three BIFF leaders killed during the March 22 engagement between the members of the 34rd IB and the terrorist group, said de los Reyes.
He identified the BIFF leader as “Commander Bisayas” who was also known as the notorious hit man of the BIFF responsible in the massive liquidations in Maguindanao.
The encounter also resulted to the wounding of Staff Sergeant Robert Espina of Forward Support Medical Platoon of Task Force Central and PFC Vincent Gulla of 1st Mechanized Battalion.
At least 13 BIFF members were also wounded during the eight- hour gun battle.
de los Reyes paid tribute to Marino to include Sagonoy saying that the people of Samar should be proud of their “heroic” act sacrificing their own lives so that peace could be achieve in Mindanao.
“It’s a heroic deed that the province of Samar should be proud of. The Samarnon’s soldiers contributed significantly in the weakening of the BIFF,” de los Reyes said.
He also said that the death of the two soldiers from his brigade did not affect the morale of his men.
“The morale of our people continues to be high. This is an incident which will not deter our soldiers from performing their mandate of protecting the people and the state, the security and sovereignty of the state, and the national territory,” De los Reyes said. (JAZMIN BONIFACIO)