The Daily Manila Shimbun


Four killed, 15 wounded in Sulu fighting

July 8, 2017

ZAMBOANGA CITY - Four people, including three Abu Sayyaf bandits and a soldier, were killed while 15 were wounded in an hour-long clash in Sulu, a top military official announced Saturday. Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Jr., commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, said the clash broke out around 8:45 a.m. Saturday at the boundary of Barangays Danag and Buhanginan, Patikul, Sulu. The clash occurred a day after government have recovered two Filipino kidnap victims in the town of Patikul. Recovered by troops around 5 p.m. July 7, in Patikul were Reyjim Rocabo, 41 and Roel Leones, 37 both residents of Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur. A soldier was also killed. “Rocabo and Leones specifically pinpointed the locations of the targeted Abu Sayyaf group who according to the duo, is keeping captive other kidnap victims including some Vietnamese crewmen,” Sobejana said. He said the troops from the Army’s 21st Infantry Battalion, headed by Major Christopher Genzola, engaged in an hour fierce firefight with heavily-armed Abu Sayyaf bandits under Almujer Yaddah that resulted in the death of three bandits. The troops recovered the remains of one of the three dead Abu Sayyaf bandits. The wounded soldiers were taken to the Camp Teodulfo Bautista Hospital while the remains of the slain soldier was brought to the Joint Task Force Sulu mortuary in Jolo. Rocabo and Leones are crewmen of F/B Ramona 2 who were taken by the Abu Sayyaf along with two boat crew last December 20, 2016 while fishing at Celebes sea. The other two were Noel Besconde, the boat captain, and Roy Ramos, a crew. Rocabo is the boat’s marine diesel mechanic while Leones is also a crew. The Abu Sayyaf bandits beheaded Besconde on April 13, this year, while the troops rescued Ramos on June 8 in Barangay Lagtoh, Talipao. The Abu Sayyaf bandits are still holding 20 people in the provinces of Sulu and Basilan. Sixteen are foreigners. DMS