COTABATO CITY – A member of the Navy’s 2nd Marine Battalion was killed while three others were wounded in an afternoon ambush on Saturday, February 4, in Marogong, Lanao del Sur.
Brig. Gen. John Guyguyon, director of the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO-BAR), identified the victim as Marine Sgt. John Milbert Pamaran.
Pamaran died on the spot from multiple bullet wounds, he said.
Three other personnel of the 2nd Marine Battalion identified as Corporal Mark Anthony Bañares, Sergeant Jeram Aradji, and Sergeant Joan Aniñon were wounded in the attack.
Sources said Pamaran and his companions were out for a community outreach mission when they were allegedly attacked by Dawlah Islamiya gunmen led by Faharudin Hadji Satar in Barangay Cabarasan in Marogong.
The Dawlah Islamiya, operating in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is known for fomenting hatred for non-Muslims and has a reputation for bombing commercial establishments and buses when owners refuse to give “protection money” on a monthly basis.
Police and military officials said the ambush incident was a deliberate ploy by the terrorist group to project strength.
The ambush in Barangay Cabasaran, according to police and military officials, was a ploy by Dawlah Islamiya in Lanao del Sur and other provinces in central Mindanao it remains a force to reckon with despite the surrender of no fewer than 300 members to the government in the past 14 months.
Army units under the 103rd Infantry Brigade and personnel of different companies under the 1st Marine Brigade had killed at least 19 Dawlah Islamiya members in one encounter after another. (JOHN UNSON)