TROOPS of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-5 (MBLT-5) recovered high-powered weapons and other war materials in five abandoned houses in the province of Maguindanao del Norte, the military reported Wednesday, March 15, 2023.

Major General Alex Rillera, Joint Task Force (JTF)-Central commander, said the MBLT-5 troopers were conducting clearing operations when they discovered five unoccupied houses on Sunday, March 12, in Nabalawag village, Barira, Maguindanao del Norte.

Rillera said the troops recovered six rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 19 pieces of 81-millimeter ammunition, two mortar base plates, several ammunition of caliber .50 machine gun, rifle grenades, several M-203 ammunition, one rocket-propelled grenade, and other war materials.

The troops also found a printed tarpaulin with markings "Bangsamoro Government Headquarters, BRD, GHQ," according to Rillera.

He said the MBLT-5 troopers established defensive positions, secured the area, and coordinated with the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team of the 1st Marine Brigade (1MBde) for the recovery of the explosives and ammunition.

The EOD immediately disposed of the explosives and brought other war materials to 1MBde Headquarters at Sitio Bomabaran in Togaig village, Barira for documentation and safekeeping.

Investigation is currently being conducted to gather information regarding the possible source of ammunition and other relevant information.

Lieutenant General Roy Galido, commander of the Western Mindanao Command, lauded the MBLT-5 troops of MBLT-5 for the accomplishment.

"Rest assured that we will remain steadfast in neutralizing the remnants of the different threat groups in our area of operation,” Galido said.

“This accomplishment proves that the enemies of the state have nowhere else to go but to return to the folds of the law," Galido added. (SunStar Zamboanga)