Tracking patrol pointman killed in face-to-face battle with terrorists

A Private First Class (PFC) under 33rd Infantry ‘Makabayan’ Battalion (33IB) of Philippine Army was killed in a face-to-face battle with Daesh-inspired terror group in the Liguasan Marsh in Maguindanao on June 11.

PFC Garry Quitor – 27, of Pigcawayan, North Cotabato – was part of Alpha Company, 33IB led by First Lieutenant Alessandro Cruzada that pursued a small band of terrorists in the marshy terrain of Maguindanao.

“He volunteered as the point man of the patrol despite the high risks involved in the operations. His bravery will be emulated by the rest of my troops,” 33IB commander Lieutenant Colonel Harold M. Cabunoc said.

The government forces were tracking the terrorist inside a bushy area that was reported as the hiding place of the fleeing terrorists led by Salahuddin Hassan alias Orak and some foreign jihadists who were still trapped in the area after their boats were destroyed by air strikes and artillery bombardments the previous day.

33IB said soldiers had to wade in chest deep murky water to locate the concealed positions of the terrorists.

“We are adapting in this new battlefield condition through innovations in tactics and equipment. We are drawing lessons from this experience,” said Cabunoc.

Government troops recovered a Cal 30 Garand Rifle.

The soldiers are still looking for a wounded terrorist. “We hit him dead on because his gun malfunctioned as he attempted to shoot another soldier. We spotted stains of blood on the water lilies,” said Second Lieutenant Dennis Gamos.

6th Infantry Division commander Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana extended his condolences to the bereaved family members of Quitor. “We have lost a gentleman and a warrior today. He will never be forgotten,” he said.