By Marie Tonette Marticio
TACLOBAN City – Troops of 46th Infantry Battalion (46th IB) seized high-powered firearms, grenades, an improvised explosive device (IED), and other war materials after an encounter with alleged members of the New People’s Army (NPA) on Monday, May 4, in Pinabacdao, Samar.
Lt. Col. Rhomel Langcauon, commanding officer of the 46IB, said the troops encountered the rebels while they were conducting security operations to verify information relayed by villagers about the presence of armed individuals harassing the community.
A five-minute firefight transpired between the government troops and about five NPA members believed led by a certain Pilo, in Barangay Magdawat at around 5:05 a.m.
This resulted in the recovery of two M16 rifles with a short magazine filled with 20 ammunition; two backpacks and personal belongings; a bandolier with a long plastic magazine and 16 ammunition; four improvised hand grenades; an IED approximately weighing 10 kilograms; a binocular, and subversive documents.
Langcauon said the seized war materials were brought to the 46th IB headquarters for proper documentation and disposition.
Col. Camilo Ligayo, 801st Brigade Commander, said the commitment of the people of Pinabacdao was a response to the serious campaign of the different government agencies in ending this local armed conflict through Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) which serves as a leading example to other communities.
“The plight of the security forces alongside the support of the community and agencies is in a full drive for a better advancement of the people’s lives,” Ligayo concluded.