ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) deployed a battalion of elite troops to defeat the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the province of Sulu.
Deployed in Sulu is the Army’s 5th Scout Ranger Battalion, which was deployed in Marawi City at the height of the battle against the Daesh-inspired Maute Group just after the unit was activated last year.
Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, on Monday led the send-off ceremony of the battalion held at Camp Basilio Navarro in this city.
The program was held after Monday’s flag raising ceremony.
The battalion, headed by Lt. Col. Mario Jomalesa, underwent a series of training at Camp Gen. Arturo Enrile in this city after its stint in Marawi City.
“I am sure that you will do well in defeating the threats in Sulu as you did a great job in leading the fight to liberate Marawi City from the claws of the terrorists,” Galvez told the scout rangers.
“I am confident that you will be able to deliver the soonest,” he added.
Five, including a junior officer, of the 5th Scout Ranger battalion was awarded Gold Cross Medals for gallantry during the series of a firefight against the Maute Group last year in Marawi City.
The awardees were First Leiutenant Jay-arr Quiapo; Sergeant Gerry Gaspar Padayogdog; Sergeant Antonio Basa; Corporal Lisan Aspacio; and, Corporal Rodrigo Novilla. (PNA)