Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Updates in Balabac Standoff

Director, Naval Public Affairs Office

Four platoons of Marines from Marine Battalion Landing Team-8 and teams of Navy Seals have landed in Brgy. Mantangule in batches. The first 2 platoons and teams from NAVSOG landed in the island as of 2200H Monday 17 August and occupied the location near the MILF group 12 noon today 18 August.

Two more platoons set foot this morning and took their respective positions relative to the enemy. Fire support base was put up. The commander on the ground and Battalion Commander of MBLT-8 Major Yuri Pesigan gave the ultimatum for the MNLF group to lay down their arms before sunset. The notice sent by Pesigan at 1500H was received by Hadji Sukarno Jamal—emissary for the surrender initiated by “Pa Guro’s” group.

As of this time 1830H, the group of “Pa Guro” has not yet surrendered although there were no reported hostilities since.

Should the group refuse to give up, we will be constrained to enforce the law as last resort. Until then, we will allow the peaceful resolution of the standoff thru negotiation between the emissary and the commander on the ground.

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