AUTHORITIES seized at least eight assorted high-powered firearms inside the vicinity of a barangay official in Mawab, Compostela Valley following the revelation of the New People’s Army (NPA) members who were arrested earlier.
Captain Jerry Lamosao, 10th Infantry Division (ID) Public Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) chief said that following the admission of the communist members who were apprehended on March 19, the troops under 71st Infantry Battalion (IB) proceeded to the location to verify the veracity of the information.
The former NPA members said there are four firearms caches that they entrusted to a certain Atoy Malaki, resident of Purok 4, Brgy Limbo, Maco, Compostela Valley who then entrusted to Oligario Dagohoy, barangay captain of the said barangay. The troops under 71st IB led by Captain Ivan Keane Cagalitan went to the area to verify the report.
Upon approaching the vicinity, they were fired upon by undetermined number of NPA members believed to be members of Guerilla Front (GF) 2. Immediately, a hot pursuit operation was conducted.
During the pursuit, the troops saw three individuals fleeing towards North East direction from a makeshift poultry coop in the area. In the process and further verification of the area where the three individuals came from, they discovered six high-powered firearms hidden at the makeshift poultry coop.
Likewise, at the north side of the poultry coop, there were two other firearms, three ICOM Radios with chargers, and subversive documents were scattered.
As the troops search the area it was found out that the house near the makeshift poultry coop was owned by Barangay Chairman Oligario W. Dagohoy.
After the operation, the troops were able to recover a total of six M16 Rifles, two AK47, three ICOM Radios, and subversive documents. The recovered items were brought to H71IB, Purok 8, Barangay Nueva Visayas, Mawab, Compostela Valley.
In a statement, Compostela Valley Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy expressed his disappointment on the alleged involvement of the barangay captain in the operations of the NPA which he said “is a step backward to our goal of putting an end to armed conflicts.”
“As mandated by law, amplified and strengthened by the pronouncements of the President, government officials who actively connive and collaborate with outlaws like the New People’s Army will be held liable,” Uy said.
He assured that appropriate action will be taken if the barangay chairman will be proven guilty for supporting the communist movement.
“In the process of doing so, we will follow the wheels of justice and allow our legal processes run its course. Rest assured, we will exact accountability to those who wish to bring harm to our people. As disappointing this event may be, it will not hamper us, nor waver our commitment to bring peace, stability and rule of law in our province,” Uy said.