SANTO NIÑO, Cagayan – Soldiers captured high-powered firearms in a New People’s Army (NPA) encampment following an encounter in Barangay Calassita here Tuesday, August 9.
Lt. Col. Oliver Logan, Army 17th Infantry Battalion commander, said they received information from residents regarding the presence of NPA rebels in the area.
Troops were dispatched and engaged a band of communist guerrillas from the West Front Committee, Komiteng Probinsya Cagayan, Komiteng Rehiyon-Cagayan Valley in a 15-minute gunfight.
The NPA rebels fled and abandoned their makeshift hideout.
Various war materiel were recovered – 17 high-powered firearms and three low-powered firearms of which 13 are serviceable. Seven unserviceable guns were found in an arms cache.
Five bandoliers, medical paraphernalia, two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), a 35-meter detonating cord, one NPA flag, and food supplies were also found.
Brig. Gen. Steve Crespillo, 501st Infantry Brigade commander, said that the recovered IEDs are just proof that the NPA are violators of the International Humanitarian Law.
“As we observe the International Humanitarian Law month, we strongly condemn the terroristic act of the CTG that traumatizes innocent civilians. This only proves that they do not value the rights of the civilians. This is contrary to what they are proclaiming as the defenders of human rights, the terrorist groups do not care about the rights of any individual as long as they carry out their atrocities.”
The recovery of firearms, Crespillo said, means that a lot of lives have been saved.
“Your Army troops will not hesitate to risk their own lives just to protect the people against the inhumane and unlawful acts of the CTGs. So I urge the remaining members of the CTGs to just lay down their arms and enjoy a better life with family and friends. This achievement will be a step closer to an insurgency free Cagayan,” Crespillo added.
Logan thanked residents for their support to the military which he said is vital in the campaign to end local communist armed conflict.
Troops are conducting blocking positions for the apprehension of the fleeing NPA rebels.