COTABATO CITY – Responding to tips from residents, government forces have recovered assorted high-powered firearms during law enforcement operations in Matalam, North Cotabato, the Army here said Friday.
Maj. Gen. Juvymax Uy, the 6th Infantry Division commander, said elements of 90th Infantry Battalion seized an M16 rifle, two .45-caliber pistols, cal. 45 pistols, two M1 Garand rifles, a Carbine rifle, and ammunition loaded inside two backpacks.
Uy said the Army received a tip from civilians on Thursday afternoon about the presence of armed men in a remote village in Matalam town, North Cotabato.
When checked, about a dozen men hurriedly left from the village, leaving behind firearms and bullets.
“The backpacks were left by unidentified men who quickly fled after sensing government forces were coming,” Uy said.
Uy lauded the soldiers for a job well done, even as he also urged the public to continue its support to government forces so that violence and terrorism would be prevented.
Meanwhile, in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat, elements of the 37th Infantry Battalion recovered unexploded ordnance in Barangay Sta. Clara.
The rifle grenade, which could be converted into an improvised bomb, was found by social workers beside a dirt road in Sitio Nursery in the barangay.
Government troopers are continuously clearing the village area of lawless elements.
The twin incidents came a day after government troops neutralized a senior leader of the Dawlah Islamiya in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat.
Killed on Wednesday during a joint military and police operation was Jazzer Nilong a long-wanted terror bomber linked to a past bombing in General Santos City and also suspect in the murder of a police officer.
“Our troops were tipped on the presence of Nilong at a small hotel in Esperanza and he fought it out with the soldiers as he was about to be arrested,” Uy said.
Found in Nilong’s possession were a .45 caliber pistol, a live 60 mm mortar projectile, a rifle grenade, and other bomb-making components. (PNA)