TALACOGON, Agusan del Sur, Aug. 14 - In the performance of his sworn duty to protect the communities, a member of Philippine Army died after a two-day of treatment in a hospital due to a multiple complications caused by a gunshot wound, Wednesday evening, August 7, 2019.
Private First Class Johnny Soriano, who belongs to the Higaonon tribe, who is a resident of Barangay Tagbalili, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, and a former member of Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (CAFGU), was called to regular military service after being endorsed by his tribal leaders for numerous achievements and good performance for his fellow lumads in support to the Philippine Army's campaign against NPA terrorists.
Soriano suffered a gunshot wound after an encounter against the terrorists that transpired last Monday afternoon at the hinterland of KM 41, Barangay Binicalan, Agusan del Sur.
The encounter happened while the troops of 26th Infantry Battalion (IB) were conducting security operations in support of the on-going road construction project along San Luis-Binicalan-Bukidnon road.
According to Lt. Col. Romeo Jimenea, commanding officer of 26th IB, prior to the encounter, the unit received numerous reports from tribal leaders and locals from a nearby Indigenous People Community that the NPA's were conducting extortion and recruitment activities in the area.
During the 15-minute firefight, Soriano was declared Wounded in Action (WIA) after two bullets hit him, one in his left thigh and the other one grazed in the back of his head. He was immediately rescued and airlifted by Philippine Air Force choppers and brought to a nearby hospital in Butuan City for necessary treatment.
After two days of fighting for his life in the hospital, Soriano was declared dead due to Hemorrhagic Shock secondary to gunshot wound and Systematic Inflammatory Response Syndrome causing Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation and Multi-Organ failure.
"We are very sad for the loss of one of our soldiers in protecting the lives and future of his fellow lumads. We expressed our heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family of PFC Soriano. He is one of our best soldiers that contributed to our continuous campaign against the NPA terrorists. He will always be remembered for his gallantry. He is a lumad hero for us," Jimenea said.
"We will continue to secure the communities especially the Indigenous Peoples at all cost against the terrorist NPAs. For those remaining NPA members who are still deceived and used for the advancement of terrorism, it is better for you to lay down your arms, be with your family and we will help you to have better future through Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) of the government," said Jimenea. (26IB/ 401st Brigade, PA/ PIA-Agusan del Sur)