Marines neutralize Abu Sayyaf leader in Panamao, Sulu

Troops of Marine Battalion Landing Team 1 (MBLT-1) encountered the group of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) Sub-Leader Hatib Munap Binda in a fierce firefight at Barangay Kawasan, Bud Bawis, Panamao, Sulu on November 20, 2020. Two armed ASG terrorists were killed and an undetermined number of their members were wounded. There were no casualties on the side of the government.

The 4th Marine Brigade, headed by Col Ruben B Candelario PN(M) (MNSA), ordered the combat operations to neutralize the said ASG unit through MBLT-1 headed by LtCol Marvin T Salvan PN(M). MBLT-1 simultaneously undertook three separate objectives with combined arms operations using Weapons and Special Operations Platoon, Force Reconnaissance Group, and a Rifle company.

After the firefight, operating troops scoured the area and recovered the two dead bodies identified as ASG sub-leader Hatib Munap Binda and ASG member Bencio Barahama with one M16 rifle, two M14 rifles, and other items of intelligence value.

Binda was the senior sub-leader of the ASG operating in Sulu province with stronghold in the municipalities of Kalingalan Caluang and Panamao. In 2002, he associated with the late ASG sub-leader Al Habsi Misaya, who was involved in the series of kidnappings in the tri-boundaries of Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Al Habsi was killed in a clash with Marines in Sulu in 2017.

The other casualty in the Friday encounter is ASG member Bencio Barahama, a follower of ASG leader Radullan Sahiron, who masterminded several kidnap-for-ransom activities that victimized foreign nationals including Swiss national Lorenzo Vinciguerra and Indonesians Maharudin Bin Lunani and Muhammad Farhan. Bencio Barahama was also involved in the kidnapping of at least ten other local victims in Sulu.

The death of Binda is considered a big blow to the terrorist group. The 4th Marine Brigade and its operations control units will maintain their offensive against the ASG and will never hesitate to use all ground assets to neutralize them. NAVY.MIL.PH