The report said troopers from joint Naval Task Force (NFT62) and Marine Battalion Landing Team 2 (MBLT2) raided an hideout of pirates following persistent reports from local residence on the presence of gunmen at Lagayas.
Major Eugene Batara, Western Mindanao Command public information officer, said the troops took advantage of the cover of darness but were fired upon by the suspected pirates upon detection.
"After two brief encounters, the enemy fled leaving their slain companion, assorted personal belongings and two junkong watercrafts believed to be used in their illegal activities," Batara said.
Authorities monitored local pirates operating in the seawaters of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and victimizing traders and fishermen in the area. These lawless elements are heavily armed and are reported to be wreaking fear to the populace where they decide to harbor or stay.
The people in the area are secretly passing information to the AFP troops and the police which prompted the WesMinCom troops to conduct the raid, according to Batara.
With this operation, he said the government troops assures the residents in the area that the military remains steadfast in its mandate to protect the people against lawless elements.
"This operation is also expected to serve as a warning to all lawless elements and organized crime syndicates, who are doing illegal activities to stop harassing and taking undue advantage of innocent civilians," he said.
Adding that, "the WesMinCom through its various operating units is calling out to all law-abiding citizens to report such kinds of individual and organizations."
"We can only do so much without your help. Be also extra aware of the Abu Sayyaf who have allied themselves with these lawless elements. Let us all cooperate in order to make a psychologically secured and peaceful environment conducive to development."