By Martin Sadongdong
A suspected leader and a political adviser of the New People's Army (NPA) were apprehended by the authorities in Lanao del Norte over the weekend as troops dealt another blow to the communist group in the province.
Lt. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana, Commander of the Western Mindanao Command (6th Infantry Division - Kampilan Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Joint military and police units nabbed Christopher Cañete and Virjon Virtudazo in an operation at Barangay Dableston, Sultan Naga Dimaporo, on Sunday.
Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command (WesMinCom), said Cañete is the first deputy and head of the intelligence staff of Platoon Guerilla, Regional Operation Command of the North Central Mindanao Regional Committee (NCMRC).
Meanwhile, Virtudazo is said to be the political instructor of Platoon Bingo, Moro Company, SRC 5, NCMRC.
"Deliberate operations with law enforcement agencies are being sustained by our Joint Task Forces to run down and dismantle communist terrorists," Sobejana said.
"We attribute this major accomplishment to the support of the civilian community on our continuing security operations and various peace efforts," he added.
Government troops recovered from the suspects' possession a caliber .45 pistol, caliber .38 revolver, an improvised explosive device, two rifle grenades, a blasting cap, and a detonating fuse.
Sobejana said the suspects disclosed the location of an arms cache at Barangay Sto. Niño in Kapatagan town after they were subjected to custodial debriefing.
Soldiers then trooped to the site where they recovered seven M16 rifles, one AR18 rifle, one M203 Grenade Launcher, one cal 38 revolver, 286 M16 magazines, more than 2,000 rounds of 5.56 ammunition, eight rounds of M203 ammo, and 29 sets of bandoliers.