Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio condemns death of 11 soldiers; PNP and AFP hail them as heroes

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MANILA—Eleven government troopers belonging to the Philippine Army’s 21st Infantry Battalion fell victims in a clash between the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu on Friday.

The Philippine National Police press statement received by Sandigan News says “The officers, men and women of the Philippine National Police, under the command of Police General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, join the Filipino nation in mourning over the loss of 11 or our brothers in arms in the Armed Forces of the Philippines who offered the ultimate sacrifice in an encounter with terrorists in Sulu yesterday.”

It further says “They did not die in vain—the cause they are fighting for is the lifelong commitment of all men and women in uniform who derive inspiration from the heroism of our fallen brothers to bring on the fight against the enemies of the state.”

Details of the said skirmishes appear that the attack happened while the soldiers were facing difficult time fighting to protect each other against the deadly Covid-19.  The incident “exposes the monstrous and terroristic nature of Abu Sayyaf; this devil is worse of its kind,” the statement said.

The soldiers clashed with around 40 Abu Sayyaf members reportedly led by Radullan Sahiron and Hatib Hadjan Sawadjaan in an hour-long gunfight in Barangay Danag where 11 of them died while 14 others were hurt.

The said incident was condemned by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio calling it “cowardly” and “inhuman” and warned that the rebels “will pay for their sins” in due time.  The city government also issued a statement, which says “To the fallen soldiers, we salute you and your bravery. Your sacrifices shall not be forgotten. Our prayers are with you.”

Both the PNP and the city government offered to extend their support and assistance to the bereaved families of the fallen heroes and will make sure those injured are cared for.

Meanwhile, Malacañang also condemned the incident while the Philippine Army hailed the 11 fallen soldiers as heroes who bravely fought for the country.

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