MANILA -- The soldier who helped neutralize Abu Sayyaf leader, Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani, in 1998, deemed a hero in the Philippine military, is now the one searching for a champion to help him seek medical treatment.
Incapacitated after another ambush where he suffered a gunshot wound in his spine, Master Sgt. Jose Juanillo Tubil said he has difficulty sleeping due to pain.
Tubil, who lives in Isabela, Basilan, has reached out to Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, for assistance to come to Manila to seek treatment.
Egco said he has forwarded Tubil's request to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for proper action.
In a story titled “An Almost-Forgotten Story of Heroism”, narrated by Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc and posted on Facebook by Josephine Jaron Codilla, it was said that Tubil, then a Scout Ranger, guided them in two operations in February and December 1998 against Janjalani and his group, including the one that eventually resulted in the terror leader’s death.
"Janjalani died in the same house where we confiscated high-caliber rifles. He and his men were killed by Ranger Tubil and at least 10 other CAFGU (Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit) from Barangay Ulami sometime in December 1998,” the post read.
“Tubil reinforced the beleaguered members of the PNP (Philippine National Police) led by PCI Romo who tried to arrest the ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) leader but was met with overwhelming fires, killing him and some of his men.” It said Ranger Tubil was in Sta. Clara during that time.
“Without any order from his higher ups, he and his neighbors (CAFGU) rushed to Tandung Ahas to help the policemen. Coming from behind, they shot the ASG one by one in an intense firefight," the post added.
“Though wounded in the heavy fighting, he led his men victoriously against more or less 50 ASG bandits.”
Tubil was later awarded the Distinguished Conduct Star.
Cabunoc, in the post, called Tubil a "forgotten hero" in the Lamitan story, especially now that “he is incapacitated after being ambushed by heavily armed men years ago.” (PNA)