A TOTAL of 209 high- and low-powered firearms as well as 155 improvised explosive devices (IED) were either confiscated from or surrendered by members of the New People’s Army (NPA) to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from January to February 2018.
Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Garcia, Philippine Army public information office chief, said 165 firearms were confiscated by the Eastern Mindanao Command from NPA terrorists.
Of the IEDs, 131 were recovered in Eastern Mindanao, where the number of NPA members is said to be highest in the country.
Among those recovered were the cache of arms discovered in Compostela Valley and Calinan District, Davao City on February 21 and 27, respectively.
Also included in the haul are the firearms that were turned over by the NPA surrenderers, who received compensation in return.
“The AFP continues to call on the remaining rebels who are still in the movement to come back to the folds of law and be productive members of the community,” Garcia said.
“The AFP will continue to conduct operations to degrade the armed capability of the terrorists and further enhance Community Support Program to empower local government units in providing basic services to the people in their communities to encourage more NPAs to surrender,” he added.
Meanwhile, as part of the government’s campaign against loose firearms, local chief executives from the municipalities of Talipao, Omar, Indanan, Pata, Parang, Jolo and Maimbung handed over their loose firearms to the Joint Task Force Sulu (JTFS) on Tuesday, March 6.
The activity was attended by mayors and their representatives, Western Mindanao Command commander Carlito Galvez and JTFS commander General Cirilito Sobejana.
“Local chief executives have made a good example to show how serious they support our campaign against loose firearms,” said Chief Superintendent Graciano Mijares, Autonomous Region of the Muslim Mindanao Police Regional Office director. (SunStar Philippines)