Twelve high powered firearms (HPFA) of the New People’s Army stashed in different locations were discovered by the units of Joint Task Force Agila of Eastern Mindanao Command (EMC) in three separate instances on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
Early morning, elements of 72nd Infantry Battalion (IB) under Ltc. Rey Alvarado discovered an arms cache at Sitio Camad, Brgy. Camutan, Antipas, North Cotabato. The troops seized one M16 Bushmaster Rifle, one M16 Norinco rifle, one M79 Grenade Launcher, one landmine, ammunitions and magazines.
Another arms cache of two M16 rifles was discovered on the same day by the same unit at Barangay Magsaysay, Antipas, North Cotabato.
The discovery was made possible through the revelation of a Political Leader of the NPA who surrendered to 72nd IB earlier.
At about noontime of the same day, elements of 67th IB under Ltc. Louie Dema-ala seized four AK47 rifles, one M14 rifle, one Garrand rifle, and one M79 Grenade Launcher at So. Alimot, Brgy. Salvacion, Trento, Agusan del Sur .
The location of the arms cache was revealed by a former rebel who surrendered to the 67th Infantry Battalion last month.
In separate reports made by Lt Cols Alvarado and Dema-ala, the former rebels revealed that the NPA groups are dwindling in numbers and are under pressure with the loss of their mass bases, which led them to stash their firearms in arms caches.
Meanwhile, MGen. Jose C. Faustino Jr., the Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command, urged all units under EMC to continuously support the implementation of peace initiatives of the different Local Government Units (LGUs) in their respective area.
“The way that the NPAs are stashing their firearms manifest the dwindling manpower of the armed group. Let us, therefore, continue to support the different LGUs in their peace initiatives and the implementation of Enhanced Local Integration Program to encourage other NPA members to return to the folds of the law,” MGen. Faustino Jr. said in his directive.