ZAMBOANGA CITY – Western Mindanao Command (Wetmincom) chief, Lt. Gen. Alfredo Rosario Jr. said military and police teams have recently seized explosives and a firearm abandoned by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan province.
Gen. Rosario said the firearm and explosives were seized while the troops were on a security operation targeting an ASG member in Sitio Oval, Barangay Tipo-Tipo Proper in Tipo-Tipo town.
Rosario said the security operation’s target, Tawakil Bayali alias Jaber, immediately fled upon sensing the arrival of the troops in the area.
He said seized were an M-79 grenade launcher, one 40-millimeter white phosphorous ammunition, two rifle grenades, three fragmentary grenades, and 72 rounds of caliber .30 ammunition.
Rosario said their 39th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team personnel who went to the area, recovered the explosives, and brought them to the 18th Infantry Battalion headquarters for proper disposition.
The Westmincom chief said they have intensified their intelligence operations to track down the remaining ASG members.
“We are also strengthening our collaboration with our partners from the PNP (Philippine National Police) and other security agencies to ensure the successful conduct of law enforcement operations,” he added.