A cache of arms and ammunition was discovered on Tuesday by the troops of 16th Infantry Battalion near the encounter site where the NPA leader Elizalde Canete, alias Ka Jinggoy, was severely wounded during a firefight on May 10.
Meanwhile, three members of the communist group also surrendered to the soldiers of the 56th and 89th infantry battalions on the same day.
Capt. Erick Wynmer Calulot, the civil-military operations officer of 1003rd Infantry Brigade, said the troops were patrolling in Sitio Bulak, Barangay Kipilas, Bukidnon when they discovered the cache abandoned in a mountain slope of the said area.
They found one .45 caliber pistol, .357 caliber revolver, .9mm pistol, hand grenade, six magazines of assorted firearms, 153 rounds of assorted ammunition, one radio transceiver, one radio charger, and three destroyed M16 gun parts.
He said the soldiers also recovered one switch and two fuses for an improvised explosive device, personal belongings, medical equipment, and subversive documents. They were supposed to belong to the Pulang Bagani Company after being overwhelmed by government troops last May 10.
Meanwhile, three communist rebels surrendered to the military on May 22.
Calulot identified them as alias Oniok, 35, resident of Talaingod municipality and a member of the Guerilla Front 55; alias Kibloy, 26, a team leader of the Segunda Baking, Front 2 under the Sub-Regional Command 2, and a resident of Compostela Valley; and alias Itay, 56, a Milisyang Bayan member of the Pulang Bagani Company 1 and a resident of Paquibato District.
They also brought along an M14 rifle, M1 Carbine, and a Garand rifle, along with ammunition.
“The unusual nature of the surrenders and the nature of arms and ammo cache hastily abandoned strongly suggest and give a glimpse of how the (NPAs) within the 1003rd Brigade’s area of responsibility is now very loosely controlled after a devastating tactical defeat further worsened by the capture and wounding of one of their most revered leaders, Ka Jinggoy,” Brig. Gen. Ernesto C. Torres, commander of the 1003rd Infantry Brigade, said.
“We expected these events to take place. We have offered our hands time and again, some took the offer so we in the government gave what was for them, a life back in the mainstream society,” Torres said.