TROOPS have discovered arms cache of the New People's Army (NPA) rebels in the hinterlands of Davao de Oro and Sarangani provinces, the military reported Wednesday, February 26.
The first arms cache was discovered Tuesday, February 25, by the Army's 66th Infantry Battalion in Sitio Danawan in the village of Manuirigao, New Bataan, Davao del Oro.
Lieutenant Colonel Roman Mabborang, commander of the 66th Infantry Battalion, said the cache, which contains four M-16 Armalite rifles, one M-14 rifle, two AK-47 rifles, one Garand rifle, one Carbine rifle, and two M-203 grenade launchers, was discovered based on the information of the community and the confirmation of two former NPA leaders.
The two former NPA leaders surrendered on February 10 to Mabborang and Davao de Oro Governor Tyron Uy, who heads the Provincial Task Force Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (PTF-Elcac).
The second arms cache was also discovered Tuesday by the troops of the Army's 73rd Infantry Battalion in Sitio Mahayag in the village of Upper Suyan, Malapatan, Sarangani province.
The discovery of the second arms cache, which yielded one AK-47 and one Garand Rifle, came after the revelation of a certain alias Ka Bagyo and alias Ka Jun of an NPA group in Sarangani.
Meanwhile, Major General Jose Faustino Jr., Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) chief, lauded the troops and urged all units to continue supporting the peace initiatives of the local government units while relentlessly running after the NPAs and other armed groups.
"While we are focusing on pursuing those who continue the armed struggle, let us continue to support the peace initiatives of our local government unit counterparts so that, hand-in-hand, we can sustain the peace gains we have achieved the previous year," Faustino said. (SunStar Zamboanga)