Tag Archive: Randolph Cabangbang


Rebels snatch 10 persons in Caraga

Suspected New People’s Army (NPA) members abducted seven militiamen, two policemen, and a civilian in separate incidents in the Caraga region on Sunday and Monday, authorities said Tuesday.

Mario Libanda, 39; Tuloy Libanda, 36; Rejoy Francisco, 25; and Rubio Asalan, 23, all members of the Civilian Active Auxiliary (CAA), were abducted at a checkpoint manned by about 30 rebels in Brgy. Mahayhay, San Luis, Agusan del Sur, around 9 a.m. Monday, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang said.

The militiamen were riding a motorcycle to Brgy. Binicalan, San Luis, when they were flagged down at the rebel checkpoint, he said.

The fully-armed men at the roadblock are believed to be members of the NPA North Central Mindanao Regional Committee’s Guerrilla Front 88, Cabangbang said.

Militiamen assigned to nearby Army detachments have been directed to track down the rebels while local officials of San Luis have created a crisis management task group to work for the victims’ release, he said.

The abduction occurred only several hours after other NPA members abducted two policemen in Loreto, also in Agusan del Sur, on Sunday night.

PO2 Ronald Alan Muñez and PO1 Nemuel España, both assigned at the Loreto Police Station, were abducted by about six rebels in Brgy. Poblacion around 11:15 p.m. Caraga regional police spokesman Supt. Martin Gamba said.

Muñez and España were conducting surveillance operations against the suspect for a stabbing incident in Sitio Moto, when the rebels seized and brought them towards Sitio Marang, Brgy. Kasapa, Gamba said.

The local government of Loreto has activated a crisis management committee to work for the hostages’ release, he said.

Earlier on Sunday, rebels abducted three more militiamen and a civilian in Tagbina, Surigao del Sur.

At least five rebels abducted CAA members Evangeline Cabodbod, Leonardo Sevellejo Sr., Danny Sevellejo, and civilian Vicente Bolgado near Road 4H in Sitio Greenfield, Brgy. Sta. Juana, around 10 a.m., according to a report from the Army’s 4th Infantry Division.

The four had just attended mass when they were seized by armed men who are believed to be members of the NPA North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee’s Guerrilla Front 14, the report said.

Capt. Christian Uy, acting spokesman of the 4th ID, confirmed the report, but said the rebels have already freed Bolgado.

The incident occurred less than an hour after five rebel snipers fired at the 23rd Infantry Battalion’s patrol base in Sitio Greenfield.

Lito Dagium, one of the militiamen manning the patrol base that time, suffered a bullet wound to the right side of the body due to the sniping.

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At least nine Abu Sayyaf members were killed and about 20 were wounded when Marines clashed with the bandit group in Patikul, Sulu, on Sunday, a military official said Monday.

The fatalities included Sahiron Ajil and Ismin Sahiron, both relatives of Abu Sayyaf commander Radullan Sahiron, Col. Orlando de Leon, commander of the 2nd Marine Brigade in Sulu, told reporters via phone.

De Leon, however, said only local residents and officials reported the number of Abu Sayyaf casualties and no bodies were recovered.

“Wala tayong body count, dahil close-quarter battle, divided lang kami ng ilog… instead of recovering ‘yung body count ng kalaban, I have to evacuate also ‘yung casualty ko, ‘yun ang priority sa akin kaysa recovery of bodies,” he said.

He confirmed that four soldiers were killed and 13 were injured in the fighting.

Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said the four slain soldiers’ remains arrived in Zamboanga City early Monday on a Navy vessel.

Six of 13 injured soldiers were brought to the Camp Navarro Station Hospital, also in Zamboanga City, for further treatment while the others remain at the Trauma Hospital in Jolo, he said.

Members of the 6th Marine Battalion Landing Team clashed with Abu Sayyaf members under Radullan Sahiron and followers of Tahil Sali in Brgy. Bakong around 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

The troops, numbering 80 to 90, were then verifying reports on the presence of kidnap victims, Cabangbang said.

“Noong una nakabangga nila (Marines) ‘yung tropa ni Radullan Sahiron, mga more or less 60 ‘yun, tapos nag-reinforce si Tahil Sali umabot ng mga more or less 100, umabot ng mga limang oras ‘yung fighting,” Cabangbang said in a phone interview.

On Sunday, Cabangbang said two armed men, one of whom was identified as a certain “Kaisar,” were also killed in the clash.

There was no reported fighting as of Monday morning but troops are still pursuing the bandits, Cabangbang said.

Armed Forces spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos told reporters that 1,000 soldiers are now “directly involved” in pursuing the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu. (John Roson)

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The number of fatalities in the clash between Marines and Abu Sayyaf members in Patikul, Sulu, rose to six and those injured to 13 as government troops continue to pursue the bandit group, the military said Monday.

Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said the remains of four slain soldiers arrived in Zamboanga City early Monday on a Navy vessel.

Six of 13 injured soldiers were brought to the Camp Navarro Station Hospital, also in Zamboanga City, for further treatment while the others remain at the Trauma Hospital in Jolo, he said.

Members of the 6th Marine Battalion Landing Team clashed with Abu Sayyaf members under Radullan Sahiron and followers of Tahil Sali in Brgy. Bakong around 6:30 a.m. Sunday.

The troops, numbering 80 to 90, were then verifying reports on the presence of kidnap victims, Cabangbang said.

“Noong una nakabangga nila (Marines) ‘yung tropa ni Radullan Sahiron, mga more or less 60 ‘yun, tapos nag-reinforce si Tahil Sali umabot ng mga more or less 100, umabot ng mga limang oras ‘yung fighting,” Cabangbang said in a phone interview.

Also killed in the clash were two armed men, one of whom was identified as a certain “Kaisar.”

There was no reported fighting as of Monday morning but troops are still pursuing the bandits, Cabangbang said. (John Roson)

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Three Marine troopers and two armed men were killed while 10 other soldiers were injured as security forces clashed with Abu Sayyaf members in Patikul, Sulu, early Sunday, a military spokesman said.

The clash occurred in Brgy. Bakong around 6:30 a.m., Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said.

Members of the 6th Marine Battalion Landing Team were patrolling to verify reports on the presence of kidnap victims in the area, when they encountered Abu Sayyaf members under Radullan Sahiron and followers of Tahil Sali, Cabangbang said.

The military has yet to release names of the slain and injured soldiers. Cabangbang, however, said one of the slain armed men has been identified as a certain Kaisar.

Maj. Gen. Rey Ardo, Western Mindanao Command chief, has ordered that all available air and naval assets be deployed to support the engaged troops and fetch the slain and injured, Cabangbang said. (John Roson)

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Two people were killed while two policemen were wounded when a bomb exploded at a hotel in Cagayan de Oro City early Thursday, police said.

A few hours later, a second bomb was found in the city. Another exploded in front of a commercial compound in Imelda, Zamboanga Sibugay, Wednesday night, injuring a teenaged boy.

Senior Supt. Gerardo Rosales, Cagayan de Oro City Police director, identified the fatalities as Rudy Jote, an employee of the Willshire Inn, and a certain “Toto,” a passenger vehicle dispatcher.

PO1 Rogelio Canilanza and PO1 Dexter Daño were brought to the Polymedic Hospital because of shrapnel wounds to the legs and back, Rosales said.

The explosion occurred shortly before 2 a.m. beside the Maxandria Hotel at the corner of J.R. Borja st. and Aguinaldo st.

Around 1:50 a.m., a desk officer of the hotel called the local police, seeking assistance for what appeared to be a bomb left by three unidentified persons, Rosales said.

Canilanza, Daño, and some other policemen went to the scene, but the bomb exploded while they were conducting a “visual investigation,” the city police chief said.

2nd bomb found

Chief Supt. Gil Hitosis, Northern Mindanao regional police director, said another improvised explosive device (IED) was found under a pick-up in the city around 7:30 a.m.

The second explosive, which was apparently made by the same group that bombed the hotel, was disrupted by policemen, he said.

All police units in Northern Mindanao have been placed under “full alert” and directed to increase visibility on the streets and conduct checkpoints to prevent the proliferation of bombs and firearms, Hitosis said.

Boy hurt in Zambo blast

Meanwhile, another bomb exploded at the commercial complex in Brgy. Poblacion, Imelda, Zamboanga Sibugay, around 7:40 p.m. Wednesday, injuring 14-year-old Alraffy Barabadan Bano.

An improvised explosive device went off in front of the M&M Alrafhi garments shop owned by Merpha Barabadan Bano, a relative of the victim, Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, spokesman of the Armed Forces’ Western Mindanao Command, said.

Local police are still trying to determine the bombers’ identities and motive, he said.

Peace deal detractors behind blasts?

Hitosis, whose office supervises the Cagayan de Oro City Police, said he is not discounting the possibility that the explosions were carried out by groups who oppose the recently signed “framework agreement” between the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“Tinitingnan namin dyan ay ‘yung link ng explosion sa nearby areas namin… Alam mo naman na ‘yung govt natin ay may ongoing peace deal sa isang grupo at ‘yung isa namang grupo ay parang disgruntled. Bukod pa dun ‘yung isa pang grupo na mukhang ayaw din,” Hitosis told reporters in a phone interview.

The Moro National Liberation Front, who had signed a peace agreement with the government in Sept. 1996, warned that the accord with the MILF violates theirs and could result into unrest.

The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, which broke away from the MILF, had also voiced opposition to the framework agreement.

Hitosis, however, noted that there was still no strong evidence linking the blasts to the peace deal. (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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At least one person was killed while 25 others were injured in an explosion at a popular bar in Iligan City Saturday evening, police and military officials said.

Chief Supt. Jufel Adriatico, Northern Mindanao regional police director, said one Junel Dumalagan died in the hospital.

Ten people are currently being treated at the Sanitarium Hospital, seven at the Iligan City Hospital, and eight at the Dr. Uy Hospital, Adriatico said in a text message.

A grenade exploded at the corner of Roxas ave. and Quezon ave., particularly at Il Centro Bar, around 8 p.m., he said.

Lieutenant Col. Randolph Cabangbang, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said he received an “initial” report that a “bomb” exploded, killing three persons and wounding about 20 others.

Cabangbang, however, did not give names of the fatalities.

Members of the Iligan City Police, Scene of the Crime Operatives, and Explosives and Ordnance Disposal unit are still investigating the incident, Adriatico said. (John Roson)

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Six people, including three children, got killed while eight others, most of whom are minors, were injured when armed men detonated dynamites and fired at civilians in Lapuyan, Zamboanga del Sur, Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

Senior Supt. Jose Bayani Gucela, Zamboanga del Sur provincial police director, identified the fatalities as Daylin Daano, 25, and her son Daryl, 2; Raquiel, 28, and Rex Langhay, 9; Henerita Bayombon, 11; and Jun Banghulot, 62.

Those injured, aged 2, 6, 7, 10, 12, 14, 15, and 37, were brought to different hospitals because of blast wounds, bullet wounds, and hack wounds.

About 10 fully-armed men led by Amie Andi opened fire at residents of Sitio Bihing, Brgy. Tininghlanag, around 4:30 p.m. then fled towards the northwest, Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said in a text message Thursday night.

Reached by phone Friday morning, Gucela said the attackers also used dynamites and hacked the victims.

“Apat na bahay ito na pinasok ng mga armado, hinagisan ng dynamite tapos ini-strafing nila. After ng strafing tinaga pa, pati mga injured may mga tama ng taga,” Gucela said.

Most of the victims are relatives of militiaman Dencio Tayabag, who recently guided troops in an operation against “lawless elements,” Cabangbang said.

The February 11 operation, which saw Tayabag guide members of the 5th Infantry Battalion and Lapuyan’s Bantay Bayan, resulted in the death of Samang Andi, leader of the lawless elements and a brother of Amie Andi, according to military.

“Lawless group ito na kung minsan ay affiliated sa Abu Sayyaf,” Gucela said.

Members of the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion, PNP Regional Public Safety Battalion, and Provincial Public Safety Company have been sent to pursue the attackers who are still believed to be in Zamboanga del Sur.

Police stations in the adjacent towns of Margosatubig, Vicenzo Sagun, San Miguel, and Kumalarang, on the other hand, were placed on “heightened alert” and told to be on the lookout for the gunmen.

“Hindi na nagtaas ng alert ang provincial police kasi isolated ito dun sa iisang lugar, pero ‘yung apat na police stations naka-heightened alert,” Gucela said. (John Roson)

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2 Europeans abducted in Tawi-Tawi

See update

Armed men abducted two Europeans in Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi, Wednesday afternoon, police and military officials said.

Elwold Horn, a Dutch national, and Lorenzo Vinciguerra, a Swiss national, were abducted past noon, Dir. Felicisimo Khu, head of the PNP Directorate for Integrated Police Operations in Mindanao, said in a phone interview.

Horn and Vincigueerre, allegedly wildlife photographers, were taken by at least five men armed with M203 grenade launchers, M16 rifles, caliber-.45 pistols.

The armed men took the foreigners and a certain Ivan Sadenas of Davao on a “papet” pump boat then sped away, according to a report from Khu’s office.

The incident occurred at Sitio Luuk-Luuk, Brgy. Parangan, around 1 p.m., Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said.

The foreign nationals went to the area with one Nestor Cabaluas, who escaped the abductors, Cabangbang said in a text message.

The abductors fled towards the direction of Brgy. Lambog, Panglima Sugala, he added.

Police, members of the Navy’s Task Force 62, and Marine troopers are still searching for the victims as of this writing. (John Roson)

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