Two firearms, several anti-personnel mines, and war materiel were recovered by the 23rd Infantry Battalion after an encounter with the New People’s Army (NPA) in Purok 7, Barangay Lower Olave, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte at 11:50 a.m. on March 9.
Capt. Regie Go, the spokesperson of 4th Infantry Division, said the troops of the 23rd IB responded to the reports of concerned residents about the presence of armed men believed to be members of the NPA in their community.
Lt. Col. Francisco Molina Jr., commander of the 23rd Infantry Battalion sent out troops to verify the information.
Upon reaching the area, they chanced upon more or less 10 fully armed NPAs. A five-minute firefight ensued before the rebels fled.
During the clearing operation, the troops recovered two M1 Carbine rifles, one .22 caliber pistol, one anti-personnel mine with blasting cap, 30-meter electrical wires, three cartridges of 40mm, one grenade, three UHF commercial radios (Cignus), three magazines for Carbine rifles, 350 rounds of ammunition for Carbine rifles, five cellphones, two binoculars, monocular, sniper scope and seven backpacks.
Molina thanked the citizens for giving them information.
“Through the cooperation of the civilian stakeholders, we were able to save lives by thwarting the hostile plans of the (NPA) in using the prohibited anti-personnel mines which can victimize even ordinary civilians,” he said.