Joint Task Force Sulu spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Gerald Monfort said during a press conference afternoon of February 2 that several factors contributed to death of 5 soldiers during a gun battle with more or less 150 Abu Sayyaf terrorists at Sitio Sungkog, Bgy Kabbon Takas, Patikul, Sulu.
“During the firefight close air support was not delivered because of the weather condition and also the casualties were evacuated on land,” Lieutenant Colonel Monfort said.
He noted that the 5th Scout Ranger Battalion conducting assault was on the lower ground.
“Ang ASG is nasa advantage position, wherein ‘yung ating advancing troops ang nasa baba,” he said. “Lahat ng ating casualties [are] galing ‘dun sa nag-aassault. So despite na ganun ang sitwasyon pinilit pa rin ng ating mga tropa na makuha ‘yung high ground upang makalaban ng parehas.”
“Walang casualties sa ‘taas, ang lahat ng casualties ay ‘yung paakyat sila,” he added. “Through the gallantry ng tropa natin, they expect that the ASG are on their advantage position kaya nga ginagapang ng ginagapang nila. Pilit na ginagapang pero to the point na maco-compromise na sila then they had to fire the shots. Mas maganda sana ang away kung nakaakyat muna sila.”