The AFP has successfully performed its mandate of protecting the people and the communities— at the cost of the lives of its gallant men.
Today, 31 July 2018, at about 5:50 in the morning in Brgy. Colonia in Lamitan City, a van that was earlier flagged down in a checkpoint by CAFGU members exploded while being inspected by the troops.
A soldier (Detachment Commander) and five members of CAFGU under him were killed instantaneously while doing the ocular inspection of the vehicle.
Four civilian dependents of CAFGU were also killed in the blast.
Another CAFGU Member was wounded while 6 other members of 9th Scout Ranger Company sustained shrapnel wounds. (They were the ones called by the CAFGU.)
Total fatalities: 10
*1 soldier; 5 CAFGU; 4 Dependents
Total wounded: 7
*1 CAFGU; 6 Rangers
Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. commends the vigilance and dedication to duty and the sacrifice of these heroes.
They have foiled an attempt to bring in a vehicle loaded with IEDs to downtown Lamitan City —at the cost of their own lives.
While we commend our troops, we condemn in the highest possible terms this yet another dastardly attempt of terrorists to kill, maim, and injure innocent civilians.
The Commander, WesMinCom Lt. Gen. Arnel de la Vega commits the resources under his command to thwart attempts by terrorists to disrupt the peace obtaining in Western Mindanao.
These terrorists will not succeed given the strong collaboration between the military and the local government that draws strength from the active participation of Gov. Mujjib Hattaman and other municipal mayors not only in Basilan but in the entire Western MIndanao.
Local Police and AFP Personnel are not going to stop in the investigation and in pursuing every leads to identify and neutralize all those who are part of this abominable attempt by terrorists to kill innocent civilians and destroy properties.
We call on our people to be vigilant and continue their active participation with security forces in reporting their observations.
We encourage them to notify the AFP and the PNP for any suspicious people or activities happening in their locality.