ZAMBOANGA, Philippines – Two soldiers and a member of the CAFGU were hurt in an encounter with a lawless group in Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay before 3 p.m. Saturday.
Col. Santiago Baluyot, commander of the army unit in the province, said soldiers of the 53rd Army battalion accompanied policemen who went to Barangay Labatan in Payao to serve a warrant of arrest to Waning Abdusallam.
Abdusallam is the notorious leader of the lawless group and allegedly affiliated with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
But on their way to the village, the government troops were fired upon and a brief encounter followed, resulting to the wounding of 3 from the government side.
The armed group managed to escape, enabling the soldiers and police to capture the temporary camp made of makeshift huts.
The authorities also had prior information that kidnapped businesswoman Monalisa Capa was being kept by her captors in the area.
Capa owns a mini ice plant and a number of fishing boats from Pitogo, Zamboanga del Sur.
She was forcibly taken by a group of armed men who were wearing police and military uniforms on October 8.
The suspects fled onboard 3 pump boats, reportedly bringing with them their captive.