BUTUAN CITY – Three high-powered firearms belonging to the communist New People’s Army (NPA) rebels were recovered during an operation by the 67th Infantry Battalion (67IB) under the 701st Infantry Brigade of the 10th Infantry Division in Barangay Maligaya, Rosario, Agusan del Sur on Friday.
In a press statement Saturday, Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, commander of Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), said the operation was launched through the support of former rebels who pinpointed the location where the firearms were concealed.
The 67IB troopers found one Browning automatic rifle and two M16A1 rifles.
“The former communist terrorists confessed to our respective military units that their bitter and unfair experience at the hands of their CTG (communist terrorist group) leaders served as an awakening that prompted them to abandon their cause. They have now expressed strong determination to help us in ways that they know best and that is through the disclosure of information that has intel value,” Almerol said.
He said the EastMinCom will continue to enhance ties and work with former rebels in locating other resources of NPA insurgents and further incapacitate them.
“I commend both the troops of 701st Brigade and new allies, the former rebels, for their unparalleled efforts in bringing sustainable peace in Eastern Mindanao. Let us all work together for the greater good of the Filipino people and the nation,” Almerol said.
A total of 600 high-powered and low-powered firearms were seized by different units under the EastMinCom from the communist rebels during combat operations or surrender and aid of former rebels from January to November this year.
The Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)