Three NPA arms caches were discovered, 11 High Powered Firearms retrieved

ASUNCION, DDN – 11 high-powered firearms (HPFA) of the New People’s Army (NPA) cached in different three (3) different locations were discovered through a simultaneous Joint Intelligence Operations by 60th Infantry “MEDIATOR” Battalion, 10th Infantry “AGILA” Division, Philippine Army on March 12 (Saturday).

Early that morning (4:00 a.m.), intelligence operatives of 60IB led by Lt. Col. Merrill C Sumalinog, Acting Commander of 60IB discovered an arms cache at Sitio Bagtok, Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong, Davao del Norte.

The troops recovered four (4) M16 rifles, one (1) AK 47 rifle, and one (1) lower receiver of an M203 grenade launcher.
Another arms cache of two (2) M16 rifles and one (1) M653 rifle were discovered on the same day (5:00 a.m.) under the same unit at Sitio Tagbalili, Barangay San Vicente, Loreto, Agusan del Sur.

At about 6:00 a.m., another arms cache was discovered with two (2) M16 rifles at Sitio Bubujawon, Barangay Waloe, Loreto, Agusan del Sur by operating troops of this unit.

The location of the arms cache was revealed by the former members of the Weakened Guerilla Front 3 (WGF3), Sub-Regional Committee 4 (SRC 4), Southern Mindanao Regional Committee (SMRC) who recently surrendered to 60IB on February 26.

Said former rebels revealed that the majority of these cached firearms were owned by their former comrades who recently returned to the folds of the law who belong to the remnants of the dismantled fronts of SMRC earlier in 2020 (i.e., Guerilla Front 34, Pulang Bagani Command 4).

Due to the decreasing manpower of SMRC, the pressure caused by the relentless focused military operations and the significant loss of their mass bases, they were forced to hide their firearms in arms caches.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Sumalinog, recognized the efforts of his troops and the Local Government Units (LGUs) and other stakeholders in its area of responsibility (AOR) who painstakingly supported the ongoing operations in the areas of Agusan del Sur, Davao del Norte, and Davao de Oro provinces.

“This is again an achievement not just for our unit [60IB] but also for the 1001st Infantry “PAG-ASA” Brigade, 10th Infantry “AGILA” Division, Philippine Army as a well. Let me extend my heartfelt gratitude to our higher units who continuously supported us in accomplishing our unit’s mission of totally dismantling WGF 3. This is also a result of the efforts of various stakeholders and the LGU in our unit’s AOR in ensuring that all basic services are delivered to far-flung communities which prevent further insulation from communist-terrorist groups. Above all, this is an accomplishment of the people in the communities who visioned for a peaceful and developed society,” said Lt. Col. Sumalinog.

He further encouraged all the troops to continue supporting the different LGUs in their peace initiatives and the implementation of the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP) to encourage other NPA members to return to the folds of the law.

The recovered firearms will be turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP) for proper disposition and will be later on enrolled to ECLIP for remuneration.


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