FLAGS in all camps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) around the country will be flown at half mast in honor of 11 members of Philippine Army (PA) who died in an encounter with Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) on Friday in Patikul, Sulu.
This was confirmed yesterday by AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo.
"The entire Armed Forces of the Philippines mourns and our flags in all military camps around the country will be flown at half mast as 11 Army heroes offered their lives at past 3p.m. to protect and defend the people of Sulu." Arevalo said.
Reports showed that members of the 21st Infantry Battalion (IB) were conducting peace and stability operations when they encountered around 40 terrorists led by Radullan Sahiron and Hatib Hadjan Sawadjaan at the hinterlands of Bgy Danag, Patikul, Sulu.
The encounter lasted for an hour which resulted to the death of 11 soldiers and wounding of 13 others.
PA Commanding General Lt.Gen. Gilbert I.Gapay said the entire organization was saddened with the incident.
“The Philippine Army is saddened with the events in Sulu . While our troops scattered all over the country are supporting the national effort against the COVID Pandemic, the fight against terrorism continues,” Gapay said.
“Today, we offer our sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of our 11 Sulu heroes who gallantly fought to the last breath against Abu Sayaff Group Terrorists in Bgy. Danag, Patikul, Sulu,” Gapay added.
Gapat stressed that the incident will not deter the Philippine Army in performing its duty to serve the people.
“While it is a sad day for us, their sacrifices will inspire us to strengthen our resolve until we are free from terrorism. This setback will not deter us from performing our duty to serve the Filipino people and secure our land.” Gapay said.
In line with this, Gapay assured that the Philippine Army will provide the necessary assistance and benefits to the bereaved families of 11 gallant heroes in Patikul, Sulu.