THE government troops discovered anew a village in Cabanglasan, Bukidnon allegedly used as a hideout by the New People's Army.
The series of operation in the hinterland tri-boundary of Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur, and Davao del Norte provinces led to the discovery of the hideout in Sitio Tapayanon.
According to the 60th Infantry Battalion (60IB), the Ata Manobo tribal leaders of the said sitio disclosed that their village has been used by the NPA as its hideout for several years now.
The lumad leaders told troops that for a long time, their village haven't had the slightest idea that they were ran by a communist group.
The 60IB assessment shows that the village, being geographically isolated, has little or no access to mainstream society, “thus, has become a very easy and convenient target for the CPP-NPA terrorists’ exploitation.”
The army said village lumad leader Datu Bansing Balanban himself has once joined the Manilakbayan.
Soldiers also recovered 5 firearms and 4 alleged NPA encampments in the vicinity of the village.
The NPA lair that can accomodate 30 to 80 persons may have been abandoned a week ago, the army said.
Other items found in the area include improvised tables and beds, rice husks, and fresh food wastes.
Four members of the NPA's Guerilla Front 6 have also surrendered. Three of them were recruited as child warriors, the army said.
The villagers later revealed the identities of their Militiang Bayan and surrendered 11 more NPA-issued firearms to 60IB.
With this development, the army said the village is now “100% ready to cooperate with the government especially if this means real peace and development for their village and the end of the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA’s exploitation of their tribe.”
Troops delivered P200,000 worth of aid to Sitio Tapayanon, including medicine, rice, canned goods, corn and vegetable seeds, among others.
A medical team from the 10th Infantry Division also conducted a medical mission to some 300 residents of Tapayanon.
Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert Ombos, 60IB commander, said the new discovery is “both a challenge and an opportunity” to end insurgency.