DND lauds AFP operations vs Maute, NPA

Ranier Allan Ronda - The Philippine Star
DND lauds AFP operations vs Maute, NPA
Gilberto "Gibo" Teodoro Jr. holds his first press briefing as the newly appointed secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND) in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on June 07, 2023.
STAR / Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro yesterday lauded the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for its recent successful operations against members of the Dawlah Islamiya-Maute group and the New People’s Army in separate encounters in Lanao del Norte, Negros Occidental and Bohol last week.

“I especially laud our operatives who successfully pursued the suspects in last year’s tragic bombing at Mindanao State University (MSU),” Teodoro said in a statement.

“The defense department and the AFP shall remain resolute in ridding the nation of these lawless elements, who are harming our people and disrupting our communities,” he said.

The defense chief also expressed his condolences to the families of soldiers who perished in the separate military operations.

“We mourn and honor our brave soldiers who paid the ultimate price to protect the nation, and we extend our deepest sympathies and assurances of support to the bereaved families of our valiant troops,” he said.

“On instructions of the President, we, together with the AFP, are working hard to ensure that casualties are avoided. This is the best way to honor their sacrifice,” he added.

Six soldiers from the Philippine Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion were killed in an encounter between Army troops and Maute bandits tagged in a bombing attack at MSU in Lanao del Norte last Feb 18.

Three of the terrorists were killed.

Four more soldiers were wounded in the ensuing series of firefights that were part of a military operation against the Dawlah Islamiya-Maute.

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