The Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT)-2 and the 33rd IB suffered at least 54 casualties in five offensives by the New People’s Army (NPA) in Sultan Kudarat from January 22-March 10.
In March 10, the NPA ambushed soldiers of the 33rd IB operating in the mountains of Daguma. The soldiers were aboard a truck when they were demolished in Barangay Titulok, Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat. Twenty three AFP elements were wounded.
The ambush is part of the series of tactical offensives launched by the NPA-Sultan Kudarat to combat the enemy’s campaign in the Daguma mountain range. The MBLT-2 and 33rd IB serve as guards of DM Consunji Incorporated who grab Lumad ancestral lands for its plantations and mining operations.
The NPA started off the series of offensives in January 22 with a harassment operation against a Marine detachment in Maat, Barangay Sangay, Kalamansig where two soldiers were wounded.
This was followed with an ambush in January 24 against Marines aboard two trucks along the highway in Sitio Kabukbukan, Barangay Kipungot, Palimbang. The enemy convoy was demolished resulting to severe damage on one of the trucks. Another truck fell into a ravine after its driver lost control. No less than 20 soldiers were killed, along with some wounded.
The following day, another ambush was carried out in neighboring Barangay Paril of the same town. Two soldiers were killed and two more were wounded after the NPA exploded a bomb under the truck carrying them.
In February 3, the NPA ambushed an enemy column in Kiblis community in Barangay Hinalaan, Kalamansig where five soldiers were wounded.