27th Infantry Battalion
27th Battalion Combat Team
The mission of the 27th Infantry Battalion, "Action," is to conduct sutained internal security operation in its area of responsibility against various anti-government groups. The unit is also tasked to assist government agencies in the performance of their mandate in order to attain peace and development.
The 27th Infantry Battalion traces its lineage to the 27th Battalion Combat Team, which was first activated on 27 July 1950, pursuant to Section I, General Orders Number 214, General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines, dated 27 July 1950 and organized on 2 August 1950 at Fort McKinley, Rizal. The unit was organized in response to the communist inspired Hukbalahap (better known as the Huk) rebels. Systematic psychological warfare activities were adopted as part of the units operational plan. The unit was initially given the task of clearing the provinces of Bataan and Zambalez. To better control operations in these areas the unit moved its headquarters to Pantibutan, Iba, Zambales in October 1950.
In June 1951, a special company consisting of 2 officers and 100 enlisted men recruited from native groups in the province to augment the strength of the Battalion. This provided an added advantage to the Battalion as their skills and experience in mountain tactics contributed tremendously to the unit's effectiveness. The unit's area of responsibility at the time stretched from Subic Zambales to Dansol, Pangasinan. The operational tempo meant the unit did not have time to be redeployed for retraining as was common. Instead, individual companies were sent for refresher courses during 1952 and 1953.
The Battalion's special company earned the sole distinction of being the only unit that encountered the enemy in the mountain of Pinatubo-Dorat-Catono Complex during Operation Chama, which resulted to several dissident leaders and followers being neutralized. The 27th Battalion Combat Team also earned distinction by inflicting several casualties against the enemy, capturing firearms and ammunition, and the destruction of an enemy headquarters in the Begron-Pinatubo area. An enemy field headquarters was also destroyed by the Battalion during Operation Waling-Waling. Another field headquarters and enemy hospital were captured in Zmbales before operations came to a halt in the Battalion's area of responsibility. As a result of all the operations the 27th Battalion Combat team reported it had killed 74 rebels, wounded 63, captured 87, and had 24 surrender to them, as well as seizing assorted firearms, ammunition.
The 27th Battalion Combat Team was deployed to Mindanao in 1964, at the height of the campaign against the Octopus Gang. Its command post, established initially at Camp Kabaritan, Bukidnon, moved further south in 1966, to Camp Impalambong, Bukidnon. On 24 December 1967, the Battalion was redeployed from Mindanao to Pulong Maragol, Pampanga to bolster the continuing campaign against remnant Huk rebels there. The surrender of huk leaders and the end of their struggle resulted in a draw down of Philippine Army strength, leading to the inactivation of the 27th Battalion Combat team in 1968.
Growing labor unrest in the late 1960s and mass protests in the early 1970s led to the reactivation of experienced units. On 6 February 1970, the unit was officially reactivated, redesignated as the 27th Infantry Battalion (Reinforced), pursuant to Section I, General Orders Number 4, Headquarters, 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, dated 6 February 1970. On 13 May 1970 a platoon of the Headquarters and Headquarters Service Company was moved to Camp Paulino Santos Training Center in Alamada, North Cotabato, to train 10 officers and 276 trainees for the unit. A and B Companies, which had been attached to Task Force Habagat, were recalled in 1970 to assist in training of the new soldiers. This was completed on 30 September 1970.
A deteriorating situation led to B company being immediately called back in San Gabriel, Davao City in June 1971, while the rest of the 27th Infantry Battalion was consolidated in Kabacan, North Cotabato. The unit was attached on 28 June 1971 to Task Force Pagkakaisa. At the time the 27th Infantry Battalion (Reinforced) was organized to include a Headquarters and Headquarters Service Company, 3 rifle companies, an engineer platoon, a combat support company, and a Home Defense Forces Platoon. The unit's authorized strength was 50 officers and 850 enlisted persons, but initially its was only staffed to 80 percent of this strength. The newly organized Task Force Pagkakaisa assumed operational control of the municipalities of Pikit, Midsayap, Pagalungan, Alamada, Kabacan, Carmen, Matalam, Mlang, Tulunan, Columbio, Lutayan, and Sultan Sa Barongis, all in Cotabato Province.
On 4 August 1971, a Philippine Constabulary patrol team was ambushed crossing Bura in Cotabato. This encounter prompted Task Force Pagkakaisa to dispatch elements of the 27th Infantry Battalion to reinforce the PC in Buldon. A provisional company was organized and immediately dispatched to area of the ambushed PC patrol. The reinforcing element itself was ambushed, leading the deployment of the entire 27th Infantry Battalion to the area on 9 August 1971. The unit moved from Kabacan to Pigkawayan and the Gallego Edcor Farm in Buldon and immediately took over operational control of buldon from the PC. The operation was terminated on 25 August 1971, after the formal surrender the anti-government forces involved. Buldon was eventually returned to the jurisdiction of the PC and the 27th Infantry Battalion headquarters returned to Kabacan in August 1971.
In June 1973, the 27th Infantry Battalion deployed from Kabacan to Lebak to conduct search and destroy missions against rebels in the three barrios of Lebak: Taguisa, Tran and Torogan Complex. From Lebak, the 27th Infantry Battalion returned to Kabacan, until rebel activity in Reina Regente became a serious problem. The 27th Infantry Battalion was again tasked to launch operations against the rebels at Paidu Pulangi. The unit continued operations through 1974 and 1975 until it was finally decided that years of continuous exposure and commitment in the field required the whole command to conduct retraining. After the retraining it returned to its AOR to conduct civil-miltiary operations.
On 16 November 1978, the unit was placed under the operational control of the 3rd Infantry Division, pursuant to Section I, General Orders Number 351, Headquarters, Philippine Army, dated 21 November 1978. The unit was again reassigned to the 2nd Infantry Division on 16 August 1980, pursuant to section I, General Orders Number 294, Headquarters, Philippine Army, dated 13 August 1980, but remained under the operational control of the 3rd Infantry Division.
In 1982 the entire North Cotabato province, including Digos and Bansalan in Davao del Sur, was placed in the area of responsibility of the 27th Infantry Battalion due to increased anti-government activity. C Company established its command post in Kapatagan, Digos, Davao del Sur, with patrol bases strategically located at Mati, Goma and Marawer just within the periphery of Mount Apo. Delta company was located at Poblacion Bansalan, Davao del Sur. This location was renamed Jeremias Guisob, in honor of late Corporal Jeremias Guisob who was killed in action during an attack on 17 October 1982. The HHSC remained in Kabacan. A Company was deployed to Carmen and B Company to Tunggol, Pagalungan, Maguindanao.
In january 1983, the 27th Infantry Battalion intensified its counter guerilla operations, police actions and pursuit operations in different areas of Matalam, Tulunan, Kidapawan and Pres. Roxas, towards the Mahusan mountain ranges of Magpet, all of North Cotabato, including Bansalan and Digos and the periphery of Mount Apo in Davao del Sur. When NPA activity reached Bukidnon, SOUTHCOM tasked the 2nd Infantry Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division to organize Task Force Kalantas. The 25th Infantry Battalion was to be the major element of the task fForce, but it was to be led by a company from the 27th Infantry Battalion. The mission was to scour critical areas through police and pursuit operations, simultaneous with civil military activities being conduct by the 7th Home Defense Forces Group, the 427th PC Company, and remaining elements of the 27th Infantry Battalion. The Task Force successfully dispersed the NPA forces and allowed for civil-military operations to continue.
In January 1984, E Company (Provisional) was organized, composed of personnel coming from the other companies of the 27th Infantry Battalion. The newly organized provisional company was deattached to Task Force Bantay, which was tasked to operate in Malabang, Lanao del Sur with one company from the 25th Infantry Battalion, a PC company, and CHDF batallions from Balabagan and Malabang.
On 3 March 1984, elements from C Company were ambushed in the vicinity San Vicente, Digos, Davao del Sur. It was during this action that Corporal Felipe Duerme threw himself on a hand grenade lobbed by the enemy to save the lives of his comrades. The Battalion Commander recommended the posthumous awarding of the Medal of Valor, which Major General Josephus Q. Ramas immediately endorsed and sent to the General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines for approval.
A realignment of infantry batallions led the 27th Infantry Battalion to be transferred from the 2nd Infantry Division to the 4th Infantry Division in July 1984, pursuant to General Orders Number 223, Headquarters, Philippine Army, 27 June 1984. The Battalion continued to be deployed against anti-government groups and continued to conduct CMO and similar activities. Additional training and cross training with other units were also conducted.
In February 1987, the battalion command post was transferred to Carmen, Cotabato. It took almost 2 months continuous construction to complete the fabrication of the necessary buildings, including bunkers around the camps perimeter. While the camp quickly became functional, in August 1987, increased NPA activities led to the realignment of the Brigade area of responsibility. This covered Davao del Sur, including Magsaysay and Bansalan, and also included the municipality of Makilala. The Battalion subsequently moved its command post to Brgy Marber, Bansalan, Davao del Sur. A Company was deployed to Brgy Malasila, Makilala, Cotabato. B Company was deployed to Luna Norte, Makilala, Cotabato. C Company was deployed to Brgy Tacul, Magsaysay, Davao del Sur. The Battalion replaced elements of the 46th Infantry Battalion, which had moved its headquarters to Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur. On 3 January 1988, elements of the 27th Infantry Battalion engaged a large number of anti-government forces. A section of C Company was sent to reinforce local CVOs. Bravo Company took a blocking position at Brgy New Argao, Makilala, Cotabato where the troops engaged the enemy a lengthy firefight.
In April 1988 the 27th Infantry Battalion began major operations to reduce NPA influence in its AOR. The targeted areas were along the Davao-Cotabato National Highway. The unit started in Brgy New Opon, Magsaysay, Davao del Sur and continued until it reached Poblacion, Makilala, Cotabato, believed to then be a haven for various elements of the NPA infrastructure. Increased government presence led to the killing of Reymundo Tabieros (aka Bobong), a notorious Sparrow hitman in South Santa Cruz, Poblacion, Makilala, Cotabato. This specific operation was conducted by a joint team of CAFGU, CVO and elements of the 27th Infantry Battalion. In August 1988, the Battalion moved its command post to Lamitan, Makilala, Cotabato in order to conduct civil military operations in the area. Special Operations Team operations were intensified all the way up to the Barangays of Tulunan and M'lang in Cotabato province.
SOT operations became unit's primary tool in winning the hearts and mind of the populace. In 1989 the unit recieved awards for its conduct in these campaigns. In 1990 22 of 50 barangays said to be under the control of anti-government groups were returned to government control through SOT operations. Combat also continued, however, including a firefight in April 1990, which resultedto the recovey of firearms and other equipment, as well as documents, and inflicted heavy casualties on the opposing force.
In 1991 a program was undertaken in coordination with the other peace and development agencies, giving emphasis on the implementation of Operations Lambat Bitag I and II. These operations resulted in the return of 6 barangays to government control and the surrender of 636 members of anti-government groups and sympathizers. Intelligence and combat operations were also implemented.
On 22 November 1992, another realignment in the Brigade AOR took effect. The 27th Infantry Battalion swapped AORs with the 39th Infantry Battalion, assuming control and jurisdiction of the municipalities of Dinaig, Buldon, Sultan Kudarat, Parang, Matanog, Barira, Kabuntalan, North and South Upi, all in Maguindanao, as well as the the municipalities of Libungan and Pigkawayan in Cotabato and Cotabato City. The Battalion headquarters moved to Taviran, Dinaig, Maguindanao. A Company moved to Buldon, B Company to North Upi and C Company Dinaig. Between 1993 and 1994 the unit was again redeployed to Nituan, Parang, Maguindanao. Its AOR was reduced to only 3 municipalities, Matanog, Parang and Barira
In July 1995, Major Ernesto R Aradanas became commander of the Battalion. Under his leadership the Battalion experienced a complete reorganization, clearing up the responsibilities of key NCO's through the revival of the NCO support channel. Base development projects were implemented to give shelter for personnel and equipment. A PBAC fund management system was introduced, giving the staff officers on hand information and decision on what to do with the Battalion's funds. Trainings were given proper attention.
In September 1995 the Battalion intiated an operation to retake Matanog, Pobalacion from the MILF. Increased MILF activity had prompted the operation after it caught the attention of the national government. The operation was successful and led to a political intervention and localized ceasefire. Although it turned out not to be a major confrontation, the operation did contribute to a gradual decrease of MILF controlled territories.
In September 1998, Sultan Kudarat was added to the unit's AOR. Its 3 rifle companies were deployed to the muinicipality of Matanog to contain the MILF. Between 28 and 30 January 1999, troops in Matanog successfully defended against an attack by numerically superior MILF rebels.
On 26 March 2000, another realignment in the Brigade AOR took effect. The 27th Infantry Battalion relinquished control of its AOR to the 2nd Marine Battalion Landing Team, covering the municipalities of Parang, Matanog and Barira, in Maguindanao Province. The Battalion then moved to relieved in place the 77th Infantry Battalion, an element of the 3rd Infantry Divison. In doing so it assumed control over the municipalities of Aleosan, Libungan, Pigkawayan, Midsayap, Alamada and Banisilan, in Cotabato Province.
On 26 April 2000, the 6th Infantry Division initiated Operation Dominance Echo. The Battalion organized a tactical command group with 3 rifle companies (-) and moved to established a tactical command post in Kabayuan, Buldon, Maguindanao. There it took over detachments of the 3rd Infantry Brigade, 6th Infantry Division in the areas of Garigayan, Mercedez and Mataya, all in Buldon, Maguindanao.
On 2 May 2000, the command group along with a striker section and an element from C Company, escorted with 2 Simba armored vehicles from Brgy Kabayuan, Buldon, Maguindanao to the Battalion headquarters at Aleosan, Cotabato to reinforce troops engaged along the National Highway from Brgy San Mateo, Aleosan to brgy Nalapaan Proper, Pikit. There MILF forces held hostages and had already killed some civilians. The troops engaged the MILF in a firefight at Brgy Pagangan, Aleosan, Cotabato, with the support of PAF MG-520 helicopters. The resulting acting led to the neutralization of 2 MIFL fighters and the recovery of 10 hostages. Later in May 2000, an enemy position at Nalapaan Bridge was stormed with the objective of rescuing hostages held there. Another firefight ensued lasting almost 30 minutes. The operation resulted in the rescue of 50 hostages at the Iglisia Ni Cristo Church in Nalapaan, Pikit, Cotabato.
Also in May 2000, the 27th Infantry Battalion was placed under the operational control of the 302nd Infantry Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. The unit moved to the vicinity of Brgy Daguan, Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur, where it established a temporary command post. A Company (-) conducted a relief in place for B Company, 52nd Infantry Battaion, an element of the 8th Infantry Division at South Mabuhay. B Company did the same for A Company, 52nd Infantry Battalion in Brgy Daguan, Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur, and C Company did the same for C Company, 52nd Infantry Battalion. The troops established defensive position, just in time for simultaneous attacks on the command post, and B and C Company positions by MILF rebels.
In June 2000, the 27th Infantry Battalion was placed under the operational control of the 602nd Infantry Brigade, 6th Infantry Division in connection with Operation Order 06-00 Headquarters, 602nd Infantry Brigade, 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army. The unit left its positions in Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur and transited aboard 8 M35 trucks toawrd the 6th Infantry Division Training Unit headquarters at Carmen, South Cotabato. There it established a temporary defense position. The unit also conducted an operation to clear the Limbalud Complex, Brgy Limbalud, Pagagawan, Maguindanao. In June 2000, a the combined effort between the Philippine Army, Marines, Air Force, and the 25th Mechanized Infantry successfully seized the bunkers of the MILF stronghold at Camp Al-Bashir Ben Affan. On 11 June 2000, the unit participated in an operation to clear the Rajamuda complex, particulary Brgy Kudal, Pagalungan, Maguindanao, capturing a MILF training camp.
On 1 July 2000, the 6th Infantry Division initiated Operation Aries. Also coming into effect was Barira Alfa, Opord 10-00, Headquarters, 603rd Infantry Brigade, 6th Infantry Division, dated 28 June 2000. The reinforced 603rd Infantry Brigade had the 27th Infantry Battalion, the 16th Infantry Battalion (an element of the 2nd Infantry Division), and the 7th Infantry Battalion (an element of the 3rd Infantry Division) under its operational control. The 27th Infantry Battalion moved towards Buldon, Maguindanao to conduct clearing operations at Barira, Maguindano, particularly in the Camp Abubakre As-Sidique Complex and surrounding areas. On 9 July 2002, operating units successfully seized and cleared Camp Abubakar and established a command post at Abdulrahman Bedis Memorial Military Academy in South Bombaran, Brgy Tugaig, Barira, Maguindanao. The unit inflicted minor casualties on MILF forces and recovered weapons, ammunition, equipment, and documents. The MILF continued to operate in the area ambushing a truck carrying members of the Battalion later in July 2000
On 28 August 2000 another realignment of the Brigade AOR led the 27th Infantry Battalion to assume control at Camp Abubakar, South Bombaran, Tugaig, Barira, Maguindanao. Another realignment on 19 January 2002, led the 27th Infantry Battalion to redeploy to to lessen combat stress on other units, including the 75th Infantry Battalion and the 7th Special Forces Battalion in 601st Brigade AOR. The unit subsequently assumed control in South Cotabato, including 10 municipalities: Santo Niño, Lake Sebu, T'boli, Norala, Surallah, Banga, Tantangan, Tampakan, Tupi, Polomolok. Also included were 3 municipalities in Sarangani Province: Alabel, Maalapatan and Glan; Lutayan in Sultan Kudarat; and Koronadal and General Santos Cities.
On 6 February 2002, the unit participated in a rescue operation in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat. The operation was successful and also resulted in the neutralization of 2 MILF rebels and the recovery of weapons and equipment.
In August 2002, the unit encountered KFRG rebels near Barangay Dumadalig, Tantangan, South Cotabato, resulting in the recovery of 3 kidnap victims. A KFRG camp was also seized near Purok, Brgy Dumadalig, Tantangan, South Cotabato, resulting in the recovery of weapons and equipment.
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