Troops recover explosive cache

GOVERNMENT troops have recovered explosive cache and high-powered firearms, as law enforcement operations continue in the hinterlands of Bukidnon, a military official said Sunday.

Lieutenant Colonel Lennon Babilonia, commander of the Army's 8th Infantry Battalion, said the explosive cache was recovered around 6 p.m. Friday in the village of White Kulaman, Kitaotao, Bukidnon.

Babilonia said that among the war materiel the troops have recovered included one M-16 Armalite rifle, six improvised explosive devices (IEDs), 60 pieces blasting caps, 900 meters explosive detonating chord, eight pieces IED molders, one-half kilo sulfur powder, one lower receiver of caliber .45 pistol, subversive documents, and a New People’s Army (NPA) flag.

"Some of the IEDs that were recovered were found planted along the populated area of the said barangay (White Kulaman)," Babilonia added.

Combined military and police forces have arrested 12 suspected NPA rebels and confiscated high-powered firearms and explosives in a raid last August 26 in White Kulaman.

The raid was carried out on the strength of 57 search warrants issued by the court after the residents tipped off the government troops and executed affidavits of complaint about the abusive and threatening presence of the NPA rebels in the area.

During the raid, the troops confiscated a homemade M-16 Armalite rifle, one M-79 grenade launcher, three rifle grenades, two IEDs, detonator, blasting caps, assorted ammunitions, and subversive documents of high-intelligence value.

"There were no reported armed clashes between the government troops and the NPA during the said recoveries," Babilonia said.

He blamed the NPA rebels for "militarizing" the village of White Kulaman as evidenced by the recovered items.

"We call upon the NPAs and their leaders to stop arming the barangay folks and quit emplacing landmines and IEDs within communities," he said.
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