Former communist guerrillas pointed to arms caches that yielded 20 high-powered firearms in the boundaries of Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Davao de Oro, and Davao Oriental on May 3.
Elements of the 66th Infantry Battalion (IB), under Ltc. Roman Mabborang, acted on the information of a former rebel regarding two hidden stockpiles with a total of nine rifles.
The first arms cache in Sitio Matigdaw, Barangay Marayag, Lupon, Davao De Oro, consisted of one M60 machine gun, three M16 rifles, and an M14 rifle. The second location was in Sitio Casunugan, Barangay Mahan-ub, Baganga, Davao Oriental, which yielded three M16 rifles and one US M2 Carbine rifle.
In the afternoon, a former rebel who surrendered to Ltc. Louie Dema-ala of the 67th IB on May 2, led to the recovery of another arms cache in Sitio Spur 3, Barangay Aliwagwag, Cateel, Davao Oriental.
The troops recovered five M16 rifles, two AK47 rifles, one M4 rifle, onie M203 Grenade Launcher, one M14 rifle, and an M653 rifle.
On May 2, the 67th IB also recovered four AK47 rifles, one M14 rifle, one Garand rifle, and an M79 grenade launcher in Sitio Alimot, Barangay Salvacion, Trento, Agusan del Sur on the tip of another surrenderee.
It can be recalled that the first arms cache of the NPA was discovered by troops belonging to the 66th IB in an isolated area of Sitio Danawan, Barangay Manurigao, New Bataan, Davao de Oro on Feb. 25, yielding four M16 rifles, one M14 rifle, two AK47 rifles, one Garand rifle, one Carbine rifle, and two M203 grenade launchers.
On April 16 and 17, six high-powered rifles were also captured during a series of encounters in Barangay Campawan, Baganga, Davao Oriental. Also on April 18, a member of the group surrendered to the 28th IB in Dawan, Mati City bringing along with him three Garand rifles, three landmines and two .45 caliber pistols.
Lt. Gen. Jose C. Faustino Jr., commander of the Eastern Mindanao Command, lauded the accomplishments of the units. “The surrender of NPA regulars with their firearms was brought about by the convergence of all stakeholders in addressing the different dimensions of insurgency,” Faustino said.
“We commend the untiring effort at the different levels of TF-ELCAC and the invaluable support of the local government units,” he added.
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