Army recovers NPA food supplies, war materiel in Surigao Sur

Army recovers NPA food supplies, war materiel in Surigao Sur
NPA WAR MATERIEL. Government troops belonging to the Army's 36th Infantry Battalion recover food supplies, war materiel, subversive documents, and other personal belongings of communist New People’s Army rebels in the remote area of Barangay Cabangahan, Cantilan, Surigao del Sur, during a two-day military operation on May 16-17, 2020. The military says an NPA surrenderer provided information that led them to the rebel hideout. (Photo courtesy of 36IB)

BUTUAN CITY – The discovery of two communist New People’s Army (NPA) hideouts in Surigao del Sur over the weekend resulted in the seizure of food items, war materiel, and subversive documents, a military official said Monday.

Capt. Jonald Romorosa, civil-military operations officer of the Army’s 36th Infantry Battalion, said the hideouts were discovered during massive military operations in the remote areas of Barangay Bayogo in Madrid town and in Barangay Cabangahan in Cantilan on May 16 and 17.

“The food caches were discovered in Barangay Bayogo, Madrid through the help of alias ‘Bray-Bray’ an NPA member apprehended by pursuing 36th IB troopers after the armed encounter that took place on March 14 in the area,” Romorosa said.

The seized NPA food supplies include rice placed in six plastic containers, each with a capacity of six liters, and half-sack of assorted canned goods.

“Bray-Bray told us that they (the rebels) left the food supplies for safekeeping and future purposes and to move away to avoid the operating troops,” Romorosa said.

He said the captured NPA also revealed that the food supplies were forcibly taken from the communities and residents through the rebels’ “extortion activities”.

He said the food supplies belonged to the NPA combatants of Sandatahang Yunit Pampropaganda (SYP 2), of the “weakened guerilla front” under the NPA’s North Eastern Mindanao Regional Committee (NEMRC).

Romorosa said the second hideout discovered in Barangay Cabangahan, Cantilan town resulted in the discovery of war materiel, subversive documents, and personal belongings of NPA combatants.

He said the hideout, which can accommodate around 40 rebels, belonged to a rebel unit under the NPA’s Guerrilla Front 16.

Recovered from the said hideout include one .45-caliber pistol, a hand grenade, live ammunition, a rifle scope, paraphernalia from an improvised explosive device (IED) such as wire, blasting caps, and switch.

The Army troopers also recovered mobile cellphones, backpacks, a transistor radio, sweatshirts, flashlights, medical paraphernalia, assorted food items, and documents with high intelligence value.

In a statement Monday, Lt. Col. Jezreel Diagmel, 36IB commander, said the discovery of the NPA food cache and war materials with the help of their former members was “a big blow on their side as they continue their futile armed struggle against the government”.

“With the relentless combat operation in the area, they have no choice but to surrender to the government rather than be killed in an encounter or starve to death,” Diagmel said.— Source: Alexander Lopez / (PNA)

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