Tag Archive: Albert Caber


5 rebels killed in Bukidnon clash

Five New People’s Army members were killed while two soldiers were wounded as government troops clashed with a large band of rebels who ambushed them in Pangantucan, Bukidnon, on Tuesday, the military said Wednesday.

Troops recovered the slain rebels’ bodies, along with an AK-47 rifle, 19 back packs, food and medical supplies, and subversive documents, said Captain Albert Caber, spokesman of the Armed Forces’ Eastern Mindanao Command.

An officer and an enlisted personnel of the Army’s 3rd Special Forces Company (3rd SFC) were also wounded in the clash and have been taken to the hospital, Caber said by phone.

“Residents reported that there are at least five other rebels who have been wounded, so it’s possible that the casualties will rise. Clearing operations are ongoing as we speak,” he added.

The clash occurred 4:14 p.m. in Brgy. Mendiz, but was reported to the regional military command only Wednesday because of poor communication lines in the area, according to Caber.

Fighting lasted for one hour and 30 minutes before the rebels withdrew, he said.

According to Caber, elements of the 3rd SFC went to that barangay to check reports on the presence of NPA members.

“May nagreport kasi na may mga NPA dun, so pinuntahan ng SF to verify. While on their way, pinutukan na agad sila, so nagretaliate ‘yung SF. More or less 60 ‘yung nakalaban nila doon,” Caber said.

“Ambush talaga ang nangyari, kaya lang nakapag-return fire ‘yung SF,” he said.

The slain rebels have yet to be identified but information from the ground indicate that they were members of the North Central Mindanao Regional Commitee and were led by an alias “Andy,” Caber said.

Troops have already coordinated with the local government to help identify the slain rebels and facilitate their burial, he said. (John Roson)

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Five soldiers were seriously injured when the military truck they were riding went wayward in Lamitan City, Basilan, on Friday, a military spokesman said.

Four of the soldiers were taken to the Torres Hospital and one was brought to the Camp Navarro General Hospital in Zamboanga City. They suffered head and spine injuries, Capt. Alberto Caber, spokesman of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division said.

The incident occurred around 12 noon while the soldiers were riding a KM-450 troop carrier in Brgy. Malo-ong San Jose.

The soldiers were on their way to the 104th Infantry Brigade headquarters in Brgy. Tabiawan to participate in the unit’s anniversary, Caber said.

He said the Korea-made truck experienced a transmission failure, which locked its gears and caused it to turn full circle until the soldiers inside fell to the pavement.

The truck incurred a slight dent and some rifle accessories were damaged, according to Caber. (John Roson)

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Suspected Abu Sayyaf members killed three soldiers in an ambush in Basilan, Saturday afternoon, a military spokesman said.

The attack, which came ahead of Monday’s formal signing of the framework agreement between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), is perceived as a way of “agitating” troops before the peace deal is sealed, Capt. Alberto Caber, spokesman of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, said.

The three soldiers, whose names are still being withheld, are intelligence personnel of the 32nd Infantry Battalion’s Alpha Company, he said.

Caber said the three were riding two motorcycles along the Basilan circumferential road Brgy. Baas, Lamitan City, around 4:15 p.m. when they were fired upon.

The soldiers had just left their detachment in Sitio Mellec, Brgy. Bohebessey, to buy food in the city proper when four men on two other motorcycles tailed and fired caliber-.45 pistols at them.

Civilians brought the troopers to the St. Peter Hospital, but all three expired along the way, Caber said.

Bandits agitating troops?

“Sa assessment ko lang, parang ina-agitate yung AFP… ang pangyayari ay parang ini-invite sa trouble ang AFP, para siguro hindi matuloy ang signing [ng framework agreement],” Caber said in a phone interview.

He noted that in previous encounters, Abu Sayyaf members hid near MILF-occupied areas after clashing with the military to draw pursuing troops into the rebel group’s territory and force a battle between the two.

“May mga Abu Sayyaf na nagpupunta sa MILF areas para magtago, pagka mayroong mga giyera dito sa Lamitan, Sumisip, pumupunta sila sa may bandang Al Barka,” Caber said.

Abu Sayyaf members may be concerned with the signing of the framework agreement, under which the MILF will help government troops pursue the bandits, he said.

Lt. Col. Johnson Jemar Aseron, commander of the 32nd IB, has ordered some of his troops to help Lamitan City police pursue those involved in the ambush and conduct an investigation.

Caber assured that these moves will not affect the signing of the framework agreement.

“Kami dito sa ground, ang tropa, as much as possible [ay nag-iimplement ng] maximum tolerance, at saka kung ano ‘yung intent ng taas ay kailangan i-implement dito sa baba… wala tayong mga hakbang dito na makakasira sa peace negotiations,” he said. (John Roson)

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Authorities arrested two alleged Abu Sayyaf members wanted for the abduction of more than 20 people, including some foreigners, at the Dos Palmas resort in Palawan in 2001, during an operation in Labason, Zamboanga del Norte, Wednesday night.

Capt. Alberto Caber, spokesman of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, identified the suspects as Jojo Imam Pai and a certain “Aling.”

Members of the 101st Brigade arrested the two around 10:40 p.m. in Sitio Bukana, Brgy. Usukan, Caber said in a text message.

The arrest was carried out on warrants for cases of kidnapping and serious illegal detention, which stemmed from the Dos Palmas kidnapping, he said.

After their arrest, the suspects were brought to Zamboanga City where they are undergoing custodial debriefing.

On May 27, 2001, Abu Sayyaf members led by Abu Jumdail alias Dr. Abu abducted 21 workers and tourists, including three Americans, at the Dos Palmas resort.

The three Americans comprise Guillermo Sobero and missionary copule Martin and Gracia Burnham.

Sobero was beheaded the same year while Martin Burnham was killed when Abu Sayyaf members clashed with government troops who were conducting a rescue operation, on June 2002. (John Roson)

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Three suspected Abu Sayyaf members were killed while four soldiers were injured when government troops figured in heavy fighting with a large number of bandits in Sumisip, Basilan, on Tuesday, the military said.

Members of the 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion clashed with about 100 Abu Sayyaf members and other lawless elements, Capt. Alberto Caber, spokesman of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, said.

The soldiers were conducting security operations at Sitio Baag, Brgy. Guiong, around 11 a.m. when they encountered the bandits, who were led by unknown leader, he said.

Firefight lasted four about two hours and the engaged troops were provided air and artillery support, Caber said.

The military has yet to release the names of those were injured and killed in the clash as of this writing. (John Roson)

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Unidentified armed men ambushed an anti-mining tribal chieftain in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur, early Tuesday, leaving him injured and his 12-year-old son dead, the military said.

Lucenio Manda, chairman of Brgy. Conacon and one of the four Subanen tribal leaders of Bayog, suffered a bullet wound to the back, while his son Jordan died on the spot, Army 1st Infantry Division spokesman Capt. Alberto Caber said.

The incident occurred around 6 a.m. while Manda and his son were passing near the junction of Brgys. Matin-ao and Datagan, on a motorcycle.

Manda was driving the motorcycle from lower Conacon to his home, when he and his son were fired upon by about five men, Caber said.

Members of the 53rd Infantry Battalion were deployed to help the local police track down the assailants and determine the motive for the attack on Manda, who is a known “anti-mining advocate,” Caber said. (John Roson)

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The military plans to send more troops to Basilan in the next few days to run after Abu Sayyaf members and other lawless elements involved in several incidents that have already left more than 20 people dead this month.

“Ang plano namin is to move in more troops, in the coming days magmo-move kami immediately ng one infantry battalion doon,” Maj. Gen. Rainier Cruz, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, said in a phone interview.

A battalion, in military parlance, comprises about 500 soldiers. The 64th Infantry Battalion (64th IB) is expected to arrive in Basilan next week from Lanao del Sur, Cruz said.

Aside from the 64th IB, another battalion will be sent to Basilan next month to replace a unit there, he said.

Cruz made the remarks a day after members of the Army’s elite Scout Rangers figured in clashes with Abu Sayyaf members and other lawless elements in Sumisip.

19 dead in clashes

The clashes left 10 dead and 17 wounded soldiers, Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman of the Armed Forces’ Western Mindanao Command, said.

Nine have been confirmed killed and at least seven were wounded among the “lawless elements,” he said.

Major Harold Cabunoc, Army spokesman, identified the slain soldiers as Pfc. Segundiano Tamayo Jr., Pfc. Rey Evangelista, Pfc. Arnold Coresis, Pfc. Cleto Algayan, Pfc. Kennith John Maribao, Pfc. Jose Marvin Talamante, Pfc. Mark Ocampo, Pfc. Arwin Martinez, Cpl. Jerry Areglado, and Pfc. Erwin Alerta.

Fatalities on the enemy side were identified as Ustadz Hassan Asnawi, his son Jumaidi Asnawi, Nurham Asnawi, Juhair Aliman, Kaobut Mastul, Hudjata Marain, Meloy Patpi, a certain Balong, and a still unidentified man from Tumahubong.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and AFP chief Gen. Jessie Dellosa visited the wounded soldiers at the Zamboanga Hospital and Camp Navarro Station Hospital, AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos said.

Families of the slain and wounded troopers will be given assistance, he said.

Four officers, who are among the wounded, opted to stay in Basilan to join pursuit operations once they have recovered, Burgos said.

Lapses seen

Cruz said the troops may have committed lapses during the clashes, hence the big number of casualties.

“Na-underestimate natin ‘yung capability ng kabila. Number one, Ramadan hindi dapat sila nago-operate pero medyo mas malaki ang tropa nila at saka may kaunting lapses tayo dun sa ambush,” he said.

The troops faced more than 100 lawless elements, Burgos said.

Earlier, 1st ID spokesman Capt. Albert Caber said two soldiers were killed when Abu Sayyaf members ambushed members of the 10th Scout Ranger Company and 32nd Infantry Battalion.

The troops were attacked around 3 p.m. while on the way to reinforce a detachment in Brgy. Upper Cabengbeng, which the bandits “harassed” an hour earlier, he said.

Operation deliberate

Cruz said Thursday’s clashes resulted from an operation purposely launched against those who ambushed a truck of the Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Integrated Development Cooperative (Tarbidc) last July 11. The ambush left six people dead and 22 others injured.

“Para matapos na ‘yung problema natin dito, hinanap nung tropa saka nung mga Tarbidc ‘yung pinanggagalingan ng problema dun sa pag-ambush sa kanila, so dun nga sa Upper Cabengbeng nakita,” he said.

“Itong mga ito yung nagnanakaw ng mga rubber sap sa rubber plantation ng Tarbidc. Combination ito ng Abu Sayyaf saka lawless elements na gustong makalibre ng product nung rubber trees doon,” Cruz said. (John Roson)

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This story has been updated, see update here

(Update) Twelve government soldiers and at least five Abu Sayyaf members were killed in several hours of fighting in Sumisip, Basilan, Thursday, military officials said.

Major Gen. Rainier Cruz, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, said a clash erupted around 7:30 a.m. while members of the 11th Scout Ranger Company (11th SRC) were conducting operations in Brgy. Upper Cabengbeng.

Fifty members of the 11th SRC, led by Capt. Rholie Villaluna, encountered an undetermined number of fully-armed men, Cruz said.

Capt. Albert Caber, spokesman of the 1st ID, said the armed men are the same ones who ambushed a truck of the Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Integrated Development Cooperative (Tarbidc) in Brgy. Sapah Bulak, also in Sumisip, last July 11.

Six people, mostly rubber tappers, were killed and 22 others were wounded in the ambush.

Eight soldiers and Abu Sayyaf members were killed in the clash while at least 16 fighters from two sides were hurt, Caber said.

Reinforcements ambushed

Meanwhile, Caber said four more soldiers were killed and two others were wounded as Abu Sayyaf gunmen ambushed members of the 10th Scout Ranger Company and 32nd Infantry Battalion.

The soldiers were attacked around 3 p.m. while on the way to reinforce a detachment in Brgy. Upper Cabengbeng, which the bandits “harassed” around 1:30 p.m., he said.

Sporadic fighting went on after the ambush, he said, adding that the Special Forces coordinated with higher offices for the possible deployment of air assets.

The military has yet to release names of the slain soldiers, but identified the killed Abu Sayyaf gunmen as Juhair Aliman alias Botong, Kabot Mastul, Hudjata Marain alias Elong, Humaydi Ustadz Hasan, and a certain Halid.

On Wednesday morning, a group of about 20 suspected Abu Sayyaf members also attacked a patrol base of soldiers and militiamen guarding Tarbidc, in Brgy. Cabengbeng. No casualties were reported on both sides.

Major Harold Cabunoc, Army spokesman, said operations against the bandits will continue.

“We could not allow the criminals to disturb the peace, targeting innocent civilians in a mixed Muslim-Christian community in Tumahubong village. Banditry has no place in a civilized world,” he said.

Authorities said that the Abu Sayyaf’s attack on Tarbidc earlier this month was due to the co-operative’s failure to give the “protection fee” that the group was demanding. (John Roson)

This story has been updated, see update here

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this story has been updated, see update here

Eight government soldiers and four Abu Sayyaf members were killed in a clash in several hours of fighting in Sumisip, Basilan, Thursday, military officials said.

Three soldiers and two Abu Sayyaf members were also injured in the clash in Brgy. Upper Cabengbeng, Maj. Gen. Rainier Cruz, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, said.

Capt. Albert Caber, spokesman of the 1st ID, said another soldier expired in the afternoon.

According to Cruz, 50 members of the 11th Scout Ranger Company, led by Capt. Rholie Villaluna, were conducting operations around 7:30 a.m. when they encountered an undetermined number of fully-armed men.

The armed men are the same ones who ambushed a truck of the (Tumahubong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Integrated Development Cooperative (Tarbidc) in Brgy. Sapah Bulak, also in Sumisip, last July 11, Caber said.

Six people, mostly rubber tappers, were killed while 22 others were wounded in the ambush.

Caber said sporadic fighting was still going on in Upper Cabengbeng around 2 p.m.

“All troops were alerted for reinforcement. The Special Forces has already coordinated with higher offices for the possible deployment of air assets,” he added.

On Wednesday morning, a group of about 20 suspected Abu Sayyaf members also attacked a patrol base of soldiers and militiamen guarding Tarbidc, also in Brgy. Cabengbeng. No casualties were reported on both sides.

Major Harold Cabunoc, Army spokesman, said operations against the bandits will continue.

“We could not allow the criminals to disturb the peace, targeting innocent civilians in a mixed Muslim-Christian community in Tumahubong village. Banditry has no place in a civilized world,” he said. (John Roson)

this story has been updated, see update here

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Suspected henchmen of kidnap group leader Waning Abdusalam abducted two Chinese businessmen at their home in Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay, Monday night, a military spokesman said Tuesday.

Captain Albert Caber, spokesman of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, identified the victims as James Lou and Jampong Linyuan Kai, both natives of Guangdong, China, and engaged in buying mineral ore.

Six fully-armed men forcibly took the Chinese nationals from their home in Brgy. Francisco L. Peña around 8 p.m. and forced them into a white van, Caber said in a text message.

The van was seen heading towards Sitio Olingan, Brgy. Salipyasin, were it was later found abandoned and burned, he said.

The “modus operandi” of barging into a victim’s home, forcing them into a vehicle, and leaving the vehicle burned has led the military to suspect that the kidnappers are henchmen of Abdulgani “Waning” Abdusalam.

“‘Yung istilo na ito, istilo ni Waning Abdusalam,” Caber said, citing information from Maj. Ramon Torres, intelligence officer of the Army’s 102nd Infantry Brigade.

Senior Supt. Ruben Cariaga, Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Police director, said investigation showed that the suspects posed as agents of the National Bureau of Investigation.

“Itong si Waning Abdusalam hindi natin alam kung nasaan na siya, basta ang alam natin mayroon siyang grupo,” Caber said, adding that four platoons of soldiers have been deployed to help police pursue the abductors and conduct checkpoints.

Last October 15, police and military assaulted Abdusalam’s lair in Payao, with Air Force planes dropping bombs and the Army sending in elite troops.

The assault ended on October 27, with government forces recieving information that Abdusalam was badly wounded and barely able to walk.

Director Felicisimo Khu, then head of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Western Mindanao, said he was informed last December that Abdusalam died in November and was buried in an island in Zamboanga City. (John Roson)

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