BUTUAN CITY – Hundreds of explosives and live ammunition owned by the communist New People’s Army (NPA) were recovered by the personnel of Agusan del Sur Police Provincial Office (ADSPPO) on Wednesday in the hinterlands of Km. 18, Barangay Segunda, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.
In a phone interview on Thursday, Lt. Col. Darwin Yu, the officer-in-charge of the Provincial Community Affairs and Development Unit of ADSPPO, said the recovery of the explosives and ammunition was the result of intelligence work and the support of residents in the area.
“A confidential informant provided the tip saying that cache of explosives and ammunition were concealed by the NPA rebels in the area. Residents also provided support information on the intelligence report that resulted in the recovery of the war materials of the NPA rebels,” Yu said.
When the exact location of the war materiel was positively pinpointed on Wednesday, ADSPPO Director Col. Ruben Delos Santos immediately launched an operation that involved the personnel from the First and Second Mobile Force and the Intelligence Unit of ADSPPO, he said.
Recovered from the area were 111 pieces of Nitro EM 1000g Metro Explosive Emulsion Dynamites, two anti-personnel mines, an 80-meter firing wire, nine pieces of blasting caps, 484 pieces of 5.56 live ammunition for the M16 rifle, 15 pieces of 7.62 live ammunition for AK-47 rifle, and one Garand rifle.
The government forces also recovered various medical supplies, books, and an NPA flag.
“The seizure of these explosives and ammunition will weaken the capability of the NPA rebels in the area to sow terror in communities. The insurgents will utilize these explosives against government forces and civilians, especially the businessmen and contractors who would refuse from their extortion demands,” Yu said.
He added that the recovered war materiel belonged to the Sub-Regional Committee 3, Western Agusan Norte-Agusan Sur, North Central Mindanao Regional Committee of the NPA.
In a separate statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, Delos Santos commended the ADSPPO personnel for the success of the operation and the recovery of the explosives and ammunition.
He added that the ADSPPO will continue to perform its mandate and work with the other stakeholders and communities to end the local communist armed conflict in Agusan del Sur.
The Philippines’ Anti-Terrorism Council has designated the Communist Party of the Philippines, the NPA, and the National Democratic Front as terrorist groups.
The United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines also listed the CPP-NPA as a terrorist organization. (PNA)