2nd Lt Ronald Detalla paid the ultimate sacrifice while fighting the Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Sitio Sangay, Buhanginan, Patikul, Sulu on December 30, 2015. He was part of the unit who safely rescued the PCG personnel from the hands of their Abu Sayyaf captors in August 2015. (2SRC photo)
A young officer of the 2nd Scout Ranger (Vence Remos) Company paid the ultimate sacrifice while fighting Abu Sayyaf terrorists in Patikulu, Sulu late afternoon yesterday (December 30).
Lt. Col. Eugenio 'Gene' Boquio, the Commander of the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion which has operational control of the 2nd SRC, said that his unit tracked and engaged about 300-strong bandits in Sangay sub village, Buhanginan, Patikul, Sulu at about 4:15pm.
"We were the first to track the terrorists in the jungle. Upon occupying a vantage position, my leading unit engaged the bandits killing them one by one," said Boquio.
An intense running gunbattle ensued as the bandits attempted to outflank the pursuing Rangers. Failing to encircle the troops, the bandits delivered heavy volume of fires using machineguns and M203 GL high-explosive rounds before fleeing at around 5:25pm.
2nd Lt Ronald Destalla, the Platoon Leader, was leading the charge when he was downed by an enemy bullet. Seven other members of the company sustained shrapnel wounds.
Among those who were wounded are Cpt Ryan Edmar Samonte, the Company Commander. He sustained a minor leg wound while assaulting the bandits together with his troops.
The enlisted personnel who were injured were SSg Wilson Fontanil, Sgt Arthur Andama, Pfc Ernie De Guzman, and Pfc Albert Dino. They were safely evacuated to a military hospital and are now in stable condition.
Ten Abu Sayyaf bandits were killed while 15 others were wounded in the said encounter.
Boquio said that they will relentlessly pursue the bandits in their jungle lair.
"We are ready to make self-sacrifices as we perform our mandated mission. We want our countrymen to enjoy the holiday season with their loved ones," he said.
Brigadier General Alan Arrojado of the Joint Task Group Sulu has sent more troop reinforcements to pursue the Abu Sayyaf bandits who fled with the kidnap victims.
It can be recalled that Detalla was among the Rangers who rescued the Philippine Coast Guard personnel after attacking the Abu Sayyaf Camp in August 2015.
The 1st SRB is one of the most decorated units of the First Scout Ranger Regiment. It became prominent during the Punoh Mohaji rescue operations in Basilan Province in April 2000 during which two of its members were granted the Medal for Valor.
The members of the 2nd Scout Ranger Company posed for a souvenir photo somewhere in the hinterlands of Patikul, Sulu. Cpt Ryan Edmar Samonte (standing, leftmost), was slightly wounded while courageously leading the assault on the bandits who are still holding kidnap victims.