Read Part 2 HERE

During this time the Light Reaction Battalion participated in numerous operations, with the Army giving them a mandate to crack down hard on the Abu Sayyaf group. During one mission, snipers from a Light Reaction Company were tasked to find and eliminate a Abu Sayyaf High Value Target. They crept into their final firing positions, got eyes on the HVT, and requested permission to fire from the area commander. The area commander then told the LRC snipers to move closer as he doesn’t believe they can make an 800 meter shot. The commander, a Philippine Marine Corps officer, then moved his Marines into the area, perhaps to claim credit for the kill. The Marines were unaware and began pitching their tents without any plan. The Abu Sayyaf terrorists engaged the Marines kicking off a firefight.

SOFREP spoke to the Marine Corps officer and heard his side of the story. According to him he made the LRC snipers moved forward three times because he did not trust their ability to execute long distance sniper shots. From just a few hundred meters away, the LRC snipers fired but only injured the HVT in the leg. Days later, a Marine sniper successfully killed the target by putting a bullet right between his eyes. Which version of the story is factually correct is known only to the men who were there.

In 2007 four snipers from one of the Light Reaction Companies were deployed to find and kill an Moro Islamic Liberation Front breakaway faction. While peace negotiations were underway with the MILF, this faction felt that, “the government was giving them a shitty deal so they splintered off. Since they were a large formation of rebels the army did not want to operate without less than a company size, battalion size formations,” Dizon described. His men went into the jungle looking for the leader of the group with two intelligence specialists who carried electronic intercept gear. When they returned five days later, Dizon asked what happened.

“We walked for five days…went to all these places that the guy was pointing out and all the sites our signal people said he might be in, the signals guys with signal intercepts. On the fourth day we decided to go home,” one of the men told his commander.

“So what happened on your way home?”

“Well sir, on the way home we saw guys with weapons on the other mountain.”

“How far away?”