Camp Sang-an, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur – Elements of 53rd Infantry (MATAPAT) Battalion discovered two (2) serviceable M16 rifles with magazines and ammunitions in an arms cache located at the forested area in the tri-boundary of Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Occidental around 5 p.m. of August 20, 2014.
Lieutenant Colonel Alvin V Luzon, Commanding Officer of 53rd Infantry Battalion said, “the discovery of the arm cache was made possible thru timely information from the residents and former rebels who cooperated with the unit and revealed the general location where the Main Regional Guerilla Unit of the NPA. kept their stash of weapons. Our former rebels who we had helped also corroborated the information which was feed to our troops on the ground resulting to the discovery of the arms cache.”
“In addition to the two (2) M16 rifles, magazines and ammunitions, the troops also recovered two (2) handheld radios, two (2) pairs of military uniforms and combat boots, medical paraphernalia, personal belongings and documents with high intelligence value. It goes to show that these items were left behind because the NPA lacks the manpower to bring it due to numerous surrenderees and captures of their members.”
It can be recalled that the NPA used military and police uniforms to perform their atrocities such as the raid of Municipal Police Stations of Tigbao in Zamboanga del Sur last 2012 and Don Victoriano Chiongbian in Misamis Occidental last 2013.
Brigadier General Gerardo F Barrientos Jr, Commander, 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division said, “I commend the troops involved in the discovery of arms cache. This is another result of the good rapport of our soldiers to the community We facilitate the delivering of basic services such as medical services, low cost-high impact projects, information drives, etc. In turn, the community itself abhor violence and denounce the presence of the NPA and its armaments. The community wants peace and development. Our soldiers will continue to protect the people to sustain the gains that we achieved.”
“The numbers of NPA members and their firearms continue to decrease as they base their mass base NPA in Western Mindanao manpower reduced by around 10 percent while their firearm was reduced of 5 percent. The Tabak Division in collaboration with LGU’s in western Mindanao and Misamis Occidental is determined to address security concerned in the area in route to development.
Press Release by thr 1ID, PA