MANILA — In wake of the bloody clash between military units and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in Talipao town, Sulu, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang ordered the airlifiting of of additional essential equipment, medical teams and supplies to the strife-torn province Saturday.
The clash, which started Friday afternoon, so far claimed the lives of 15 people and wounded 58 others.
A Lockheed “Hercules” C-130 transport aircraft was put on standby to bring the items to Sulu immediately.
Catapang said he wanted to recognize the bravery of the Scout Rangers during his visit in the area next week.
“I want to personally pin the Gold Cross Medals to all deserving warrior-leaders who displayed conspicuous courage in this particular firefight. Their bravery must be emulated by all soldiers,” Catapang said.
Catapang also expressed his condolences to the family members of the five soldiers killed in the clash.
“Please allow me to express my heartfelt condolences to those who lost their loved ones while fighting for the country. I thank them for their selfless service,” he said.
Five soldiers and 10 ASG bandits were killed in the five-hour long firefight Friday afternoon.
Twenty eight soldiers and 30 brigands were also wounded in the encounter.